by Brittany Weinstein, Energy Program Intern
I recently attended the annual SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Health Fair on Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan, where I spoke with Motor City residents about the nearby River Rouge Plant that is polluting water right in their own backyards.
Most people had no idea how much pollution from the plant goes into the Detroit River every day (356 million gallons to be exact).
Many local residents fish for survival, unaware of the high mercury levels that have been discovered in the river’s fresh water fish.
More than 100 Health Fair participants took action on power plants’ toxic water pollution.
Fish advisories are in effect to prevent people from overexposure to poisonous mercury. Mercury bio-accumulates, meaning that once it’s inside your body it doesn’t leave, and has been directly related to organ failure and learning disorders in children.
“If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.” Now is the perfect time to listen and let your voices be heard! Act now and tell the EPA to stop letting power plants use Michigan’s waters as their own waste dumps.
Even if you don’t have a coal plant in your neighborhood like these Detroit area residents, that doesn’t mean you won’t be affected by the pollution they create. Power plants dump 5.5 BILLION pounds of harmful water pollution into rivers, lakes and streams across the United States annually. More than 23,000 miles of rivers and streams are contaminated with toxic chemicals like arsenic and lead- rivers and streams that you use for drinking, fishing, and swimming.
Is there a coal plant that’s polluting in your community?
Michigan residents should be alarmed that power plants have had an unlimited pass to pollute our water for the past 30 years. What’s worse is that if power plants don’t start cleaning up their pollution now, then it will become harder and harder to protect and preserve our Great Lakes and waterways over time.
Thankfully, there’s good news: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed long-overdue standards to limit the amount of toxic metals and chemicals that can be dumped in our water.
I told the EPA to end power plants’ free pass to pollute, and you should too. Submit your comment today – our Great Lakes way of life depends on it!
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