The current budget proposal includes a slash of Environmental Protection Agency funding by nearly a third. What does this mean for municipalities? Well, without being able to predict what regulations may be slashed, there are certain implications that municipalities should be ready to handle. While the EPA is responsible for ozone hole awareness to toxic site cleanup, several issues normally under the purview of the EPA may revert back to the states’ responsibility to solve.
Raw sewage. The dumping of raw sewage was a bigger problem in years past than now, but the job of monitoring that issue will likely become a state issue. For example, Manhattan dumped some 150 million gallons of raw sewage into the Hudson every day back in the 70s. Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River was so polluted with industrial chemicals that it regularly caught fire! Dealing with raw sewage will become more critical for municipalities.
Aggressive chemicals. From lead in paint to the kinds of industrial sludge put out by power plants, monitoring the kinds of lead and other chemicals that smelters, mines and other operations can emit.
Safe drinking water. More than 90 contaminants have been banned from public drinking water. The infrastructure needed to improve treatment facilities as well as the chemical processes designed to make the water both palatable and safe are critical components of EPA efforts.
Secondary treatment of sewage is now a national standard, and many treatment facilities are in desperate need of upgrades. Many aggressive chemicals can be corralled through the processes utilized inside the power plants via mixers or heaters. While the budget isn’t final, districts should be ready to handle what may come out of the slashed funding. This may mean finding good corporate partners like Komax to upgrade needed processes with better equipment. After all, EPA or not, clean water and air are vital requirements!