in the last five years alone, chemical factories, manufacturing plants and other workplaces have violated water pollution laws more than half a million times.It appears that the reason for the increased number of violations is poor enforcement of Clean Water Act. For some reason, in the last decade, the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to punish the companies which violated the law. Likewise, the municipal water systems have violated the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The violations range from failing to report emissions to dumping toxins at concentrations regulators say might contribute to cancer, birth defects and other illnesses.
What is going on? Is this another case of government failure? The EPA has historically done a pretty good job at reducing all types of pollution in the US. "Stretched resources", political interests and bureaucratization are perceived causes of this situation but so is the fact that "powerful industries have often successfully lobbied to undermine effective regulation." A coal company responsible for violations - but not held responsible - is in denial and claims that its actions reflects best industry practices.
This is all very sad. One would hope and expect companies to learn new lessons of corporate responsibility rather than forget the old ones.