October 18, 2022
ELPC Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act
Today we celebrate the substantial impact of the Clean Water Act over the past 50 years. We will continue to fight for safe, clean water. Thank you for fighting with us.
The Clean Water Act was inspired by the Midwest, and it has been a success story for the Midwest. It was part of a flurry of 1970s environmental efforts, including the Clean Air Act and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, that collectively changed the federal government’s role to limit pollution and made a big difference. Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River no longer catches fire, Chicago’s wastewater is sanitized before being sent downriver, and industrial facilities are required to keep a handle on their potential pollution.
The work is not done, but the Clean Water Act gives us tools to hold polluters accountable. Look at some of ELPC’s recent work –
When a steel mill in Burns Harbor, Indiana dumped cyanide and ammonia, killing 3,000 fish and closing Lake Michigan beaches, we held them accountable. Because of our citizen lawsuit under the Clean Water Act with the Hoosier Environmental Council, the owners have to pay a $3 million fine, donate 127 acres of land to a nature preserve, and install important safeguards so this doesn’t happen again.
We are also working to curb the pervasive toxic algae blooms that continue to ravage Lake Erie. We took the U.S. EPA to federal court to hold the State of Ohio accountable for creating a cleanup plan, and we are winning.
These are just two of the many examples we have across the Midwest and nationwide. Today we celebrate the substantial impact of the Clean Water Act over the past 50 years, and we say thank you to those who fought for its passage in 1972. ELPC will continue to fight for strong implementation based on sound science, and we will continue to fight for safe, clean water. Thank you for fighting with us.