A new report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) finds that the EPA hasn’t been taking action to enforce the Clean Water Act.
The report, “Bubbling Over: The EPA’s Ongoing Compliance Challenges,” finds that since 2015, the EPA has issued fewer than 3,200 citations for the Clean Air Act violations.
This is not an insignificant number.
According to the EPA, a single citation could result in more than $2,000 in fines.
The EPA has not even issued a single rule for the new industry.
In fact, in the first seven months of 2018 alone, it issued just one rule for bottled water.
The agency has not issued any regulations for water treatment plants, either.
“The EPA has failed to issue clear guidance for the bottled industry on what constitutes a public health hazard and why,” the report reads.
“Even after these guidance was issued, the bottled-water industry has not been complying with it.”
The report comes after a number of recent legal battles between bottled water companies and the EPA.
Last month, the company AquaBounty was awarded $6 million in a settlement after the EPA claimed it had violated the Clean Power Plan by failing to comply with requirements for water quality.
The company also settled a lawsuit over its treatment of chlorinated drinking water.
Last year, the agency ordered the bottled beverage giant Coke to remove the water from the market after a California judge found that the company’s water had contaminated the city of San Bruno, which has a population of more than 10,000.
In addition to the lawsuit, the EWS report cites the EPA’s failure to take action to crack down on bottled water as a major problem.
“In 2015, in response to the Clean Pollution Rule, the Agency issued a rule that required manufacturers to provide safe drinking water,” the EWW report reads, “but the agency has failed so far to issue a clear, enforceable, and enforceable rule for this industry.”
The EPA declined to comment to The Verge.