It's like watching a bad horror movie: You know something awful is about to happen, and the only questions are when, where and how bad it will be.
That knot-in-the-stomach sensation is what researchers with Environment America Research & Policy Center, U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group researchers felt as they discovered coal ash pits, oil pipelines and trains, fracking wastewater pits, animal waste lagoons, and toxic chemical storage facilities set close by thousands of miles of America's rivers, streams and other waterways. The findings were published Feb. 7.
“We’ve structured our economy in ways that produce enormous amounts of toxic waste,” said John Rumpler, senior director of our national network's clean water program. “Stored or transported near our waterways, these toxic hazards are accidents waiting to happen.”
The report also offers recommendations to mitigate the risk by strengthening protections for our waterways, transitioning industry away from accident-prone practices, and more.
Photo: View of a Dow Chemical plant along the Mississippi River. Credit: Roy Luck via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)