For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at (202) 777-2509 or email us .

Strong Water Protection Programs Critical to Protect Public Health

Washington, D.C., April 27, 2011 – The American Public Health Association strongly supports proposed guidance issued today by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to safeguard public health and the environment from dangerous water pollutants by protecting the agencies’ regulatory authority over the nation’s waters under the Clean Water Act.

Revised guidance announced today is a major step in protecting and cleaning up many of the nation’s lakes, streams and wetlands that have long lacked proper protection from toxic chemicals, which could contribute to serious health effects. The new guidance would clarify where the Clean Water Act protections apply to ensure that even the most vulnerable waters are safe for fishing, swimming and recreation.

“The potential health impact of continuing to allow harmful pollutants into our nation’s waterways cannot be overlooked. This is a tremendous cause for concern that could severely threaten public health and the environment,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “We applaud EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers for today’s guidance to implement critically needed protections over the nation’s water supply and to safeguard all communities from exposure to harmful chemicals.”

APHA calls for greater authority for EPA and the Corps under the Clean Water Act and is hopeful the agencies will finalize the strongest possible guidance to protect public health and the environment.

# # #

Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.