Water pollution has become a serious problem affecting our communities, but who is a culprit behind this environmental dilemma and how is it being confronted? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 72 percent of all toxic water pollution in the country comes from coal-fired power plants, making coal plants the No. 1 source of toxic water pollution in the United States.
Across the country plants are disposing of heavily toxic metals including arsenic, selenium, and mercury into our waterways. As a result, our drinking water, fishing areas, and local rivers are being contaminated by these dangerous chemicals that have life-threatening implications. Research has shown that exposure to the chemicals can lead to birth defects, cancer, and even death. Therefore, limiting these pollutants will help clean our rivers and streams, but also will save lives.
Standards for governing water pollution from plants are outdated by over 30 years; this last spring the EPA proposed new coal-plant standards to limit the amount of toxic metals that can be dumped in the water. Also, they will require coal plants to monitor and report the amount of pollution they dispose. The standards by the EPA will be a huge steppingstone to ensuring that the water we drink and use is safe.
Considering these recent developments, it is crucial to encourage Xcel Energy’s Sherco coal plant located in Becker, Minn., to follow these standards and move toward using alternative forms of energy to ensure the health and safety of individuals in Becker and surroundings areas.
MinnPost welcomes original letters from readers on current topics of general interest. Interested in joining the conversation? Submit your letter to the editor.
The choice of letters for publication is at the discretion of MinnPost editors; they will not be able to respond to individual inquiries about letters.