Send email to top US EPA and USDA officials
Show your support for improving water quality in the U.S. Nationwide, about
one-third of rivers and streams, lakes and reservoirs, and estuaries are not supporting important uses such as providing quality aquatic habitat or recreation. The actual magnitude of water quality problems is difficult to ascertain, because state and federal agencies have assessed less than half of the country's waterbodies.
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Stephen Johnson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ann M. Veneman, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Re: Water Pollution
Dear Administrator Johnson and Secretary Veneman:
I have just been reviewing data on water pollution in my area, as shown on
Environmental Defense's Scorecard website (scorecard.org), and I am deeply
Farms are unfortunately the source of two of our biggest continuing water
pollution problems today: run-off of excessive fertilizer, pesticides, and
eroding soil; and animal waste from huge factory farms that concentrate
thousands of pigs, chickens, or cows in tightly confined spaces.
I strongly urge you to help farmers take practical steps to improve water
quality (such as applying fertilizer in more targeted ways and installing
buffer strips of trees and grasses along streams). Please support reforms
in the new, 5-year Farm Bill to create incentives and rewards to farmers
for environmental stewardship, so that the Farm Bill's $100 billion in farm
programs does not simply continue the water quality problems of the past.
I also strongly urge you to support stricter controls on factory farms, and
to support programs in the new Farm Bill that help smaller family farms
make more environmentally sound use of manure they produce.
Finally, I urge you to support tougher economic and environmental criteria
for water projects administered by the Army Corps of Engineers, and to
subject those projects to independent technical review by both scientists
and economists. Reform of the structural causes of water pollution in the
U.S. is long overdue.
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