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Weaknesses in Federal Law Threaten Our Most Precious Resource

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES, October 5, 2022 / -- It’s been 50 years since Congress overrode President Richard Nixon’s veto of the Clean Water Act, allowing the landmark legislation to become law on October 18, 1972. The Clean Water Act is credited with cleaning up many of America’s polluted lakes, rivers, and streams. The law prohibits the dumping of raw sewage and untreated industrial waste into water bodies and has provided billions of dollars to upgrade wastewater treatment plants across the country.

But for all its successes, the Clean Water Act and the many water protection rules that followed are not getting the job done.

“The Clean Water Act was revolutionary. Over five decades, substantial progress has been made to protect the health and safety of waterways nationwide, but there is too much unfinished business,” said Eyal Harel, CEO, BlueGreen Water Technologies (BlueGreen). “One of the Clean Water Act’s biggest weaknesses is its failure to address polluted runoff from farms and urban areas, which flows into storm sewers and waterways and feeds the growth of toxic blue-green algae, known as cyanobacteria.”

From the Great Lakes to the Florida Everglades to countless lakes and reservoirs in California and points in between, harmful algal blooms are increasing in frequency, intensity, and duration. Caused by a rapid eruption of cyanobacteria, toxic algae chokes aquatic ecosystems, kills fish, contaminates drinking water sources, and produces toxins that can be fatal to people and pets.

While the Clean Water Act’s stated purpose is to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity” of the nation’s waters, nutrient runoff, referred to as nonpoint source pollution, is not regulated by the Act. The federal government instead leaves regulation up to states. Only a handful of states have enacted such laws over the past 50 years.

“The Clean Water Act’s goals cannot be achieved unless and until runoff pollution is adequately prioritized and addressed,” said Harel. “Leaving that task up to states has resulted in an uneven patchwork of weak rules and incentive programs that just aren’t cutting it.”

Cash-strapped states need additional federal grant money for mitigation and remediation plans should be prioritized rather than slow walked, as is too often the case.

“We are seeing outbreaks of toxic algae intensify with climate change. This is an urgent issue that is not getting enough attention. There are real consequences to inaction and we see it every day across America.”

As Americans celebrate the passage of the Clean Water Act, let us remember the lessons of the past. Water is our most precious resource. It supports life. It protects ecosystems and ensures the essential diversity of plants and wildlife. It nourishes our planet, and we must protect it.

About BlueGreen Water Technologies:

BlueGreen Water Technologies is leading the charge in helping preserve and promote life on Earth. We are restoring, safeguarding, and optimizing the health, safety, accessibility, and biodiversity of waterbodies worldwide – including their wildlife, aquatic life, ecosystems, and economies – by pioneering and applying proven scientific ingenuity and deep tech solutions. BlueGreen is the first and only company in the world to develop, obtain regulatory approval for, and commercialize a technology suite that reverses the effects of climate change in water bodies and drastically reduces greenhouse gas levels. The multidisciplinary team of BlueGreen experts is exposing the secrets of lakes and oceans – detecting, analyzing, preventing and remediating some of the most complex and dynamic problems that plague the world’s water systems.

Sally Kidd
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