Bennette Dibben of PeaceWorksKC spoke Feb. 28 at the KC, MO, at a hearing of the Environmental Protection Agency. Her focus: to try to prevent a redefinition of “the waters of the United States” (WOTUS) by the federal government. Dibben says the Trump administration is trying to wipe out protection for springs, groundwater, and some other “ephemeral” waters that rise from precipitation and go into other bodies of water. The deadline for submitting e-mail comments is April 15.  

To highlight this serious situation, Trump has attempted to pollute our water supplies, I wish to cite a New York Times article which mentions  an earlier incident when Trump tried to poison our water supply. This article entitled“ Trump Rule Would Limit E.P.A.’s Control Over Water Pollution”  was writtenby Coral Davenport, December 6th 2018.  In the article she states:

The Obama rule was designed to limit pollution in about 60 percent of the nation’s bodies of water, protecting sources of drinking water for about a third of the United States. It extended existing federal authority to limit pollution in large bodies of water, like the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound, to smaller bodies that drain into them, such as tributaries, streams and wetlands…But it became a target for rural landowners, an important part of President Trump’s political base, since it could have restricted how much pollution from chemical fertilizers and pesticides could seep into water on their property…”

This image link from the Times is titled “Runoff water flowing into a pond in Irvine, Calif

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10hbFdv-v90SJ6zFkq0Jtf
gd4QpVgVCMm-LoJ2G8HuwQ/edit?ts=5ca441e7#

Credit Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times, via Getty Images

Dibben testifies to EPA on water safety; testimony deadline = April 15

Bennette Dibben, who staffs the PeaceWorks office, is an environmentalist who spoke Feb. 28 at the KC, MO, hearing of the Environmental Protection Agency. Her focus: to try to prevent a redefinition of “the waters of the United States” (WOTUS) by the federal government. Specifically, says Dibben, the Trump administration is trying to take out of the definition protection for springs, groundwater, and some other “ephemeral” waters that rise from precipitation.

Concerning the importance of springs, she advised the EPA representatives that the EPA itself says 62 percent of Missourians rely on “intermittent, ephemeral and headwater streams.” She said Missourians and visitors “enjoy the abundance of springs in our state,” as well as the caves created by springs. In 2017, some 7,300 caves existed in Missouri, housing wildlife in a unique ecosystem, she added.

Dibben also noted, “Military bases are poisoning our groundwater.” Two compounds that have been widely used to extinguish fires during practice by air force personnel and others are PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid). “These compounds are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they don’t break down in nature,” Dibben said. “Exposure to PFAS causes cancer and developmental effects in fetuses.”

PeaceWorks sponsored a talk Feb. 21 in KC, MO, by Pat Elder, a scientist who said PFAS and PFOS were compounds in a foam used to put out fires at sites such as the former Richards Gebaur Air Force Base in southern KC, MO. The New York Times, quoted in the March 15 Kansas City Star, noted, “Facing billions of dollars in cleanup costs, the Pentagon is pushing the Trump administration to adopt a weaker standard for groundwater pollution caused by chemicals that have commonly been used at military bases and that contaminate drinking water consumed by millions of Americans. The Pentagon’s position pits it against the Environmental Protection Agency.”

Comments on the redefinition of the waters of the U.S. may be submitted until April 15; see https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149-0003.