The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a sweeping suspension of environmental protections. While it tied this latest directive to the global COVID-19 pandemic, it coincides with four years of bowing down to corporate polluters by rolling back and weakening environmental regulations.
In California, enforcement actions against polluters have been on a steady decline since the 2008 recession. In urbanized areas of our state, there are thousands of industrial polluters and only a small handful of enforcement officers representing regulators.
Fortunately, our federal Clean Water Act allows for citizens to bring lawsuits against companies that pollute our water. When the government refuses to act, we will.
Orange County Coastkeeper started in 1999 to do something about the high number of beach posting and closings due to pollution. We have steadily grown to deliver programs of watershed education, marine restoration, advocacy, sustainability, and enforcement throughout Orange County, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.
In our 21 years, we have brought over 100 Clean Water Act actions against polluters. In each case, we have prevailed and the polluter has had to clean up their facility. Coastkeeper is stopping pollution from our waterways, harbors, and nearshore waters.
Coastkeeper fights for clean water, and nothing will change that.