December 11, 2014--EPA official’s speech cites water crisis (The Blade)

Toledo’s algae-induced water crisis of early August shows how ordinary pollution canwreak havoc on a community, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy told a large gathering of water experts at the National Press Club in Washington Tuesday. Ms. McCarthy was the keynote speaker at a symposium held to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act. The event was co-sponsored by and made available for viewing online by the American Water Works Association, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, the National Association of Water Companies, and the National Rural Water Association. She noted how a heavy influx of algal toxins, which overwhelmed Toledo’s Collins Park Water Treatment Plant and made tap water unsafe for nearly 500,000 people served in the city and many of its adjoining suburbs, also closed local businesses during one of the metro area’s busiest summer weekends. Though it lasted less than three days, the Toledo water crisis serves as an example of why America needs to do a better job of protecting water at its source, according to Ms. McCarthy, who also referenced water emergencies in Charleston, W.Va., and Milwaukee. “Clean and reliable water is the foundation of what makes America great,” Ms. McCarthy said. “Water is gold. It is getting more and more important. It is the lifeblood of our economy.”

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