For Earth Day, Schakowsky introduces bill to protect our drinking water

April 22, 2018
Press Release

Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky released the following statement to mark Earth Day 2018 and announced the reintroduction of the Water, Cosmetics, and Unwanted Pharmaceuticals (Water CUPS). The Water CUPS Act, H.R. 5548, seeks to examine the impacts of prescription drugs and cosmetics entering our drinking water supply:

“This year, Earth Day should be a moment of reckoning for people in the United States and around the world. Our environment is more imperiled than ever before, and the Trump Administration is doing nothing to help. From appointing Scott ‘Polluting’ Pruitt to head the EPA and roll back Obama-era environmental protections to isolating us from the rest of the world by leaving the Paris agreement, President Trump has managed to make a perilous situation even worse.

“Even now, hope remains. Cities and states are leading the fight to combat climate change, and Americans remain engaged on environmental issues. These issues hit close to home. Families in my district want to drink clean water and breathe clean air. Our drinking water is too important to take for granted. That’s why I’m so proud to reintroduce the Water CUPS Act.

“My bill would require the EPA study what effect the pharmaceuticals and personal care products that we pour down the drain have on drinking water sources like Lake Michigan. It would further direct the EPA to develop effective strategies to combat pollution where it occurs – helping to make sure our local water resources are clean and safe to drink.

“Earth Day is the perfect time to recommit ourselves to think green in every area of our lives and to demand that our government and American corporations do the same.”


Background Information on Water CUPS Act:

Frequently, prescription drugs and cosmetics go down the drain and into our water supply. But the current research on what this does to our water supply is limited. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified pharmaceuticals and personal care products as contaminants of emerging concern. These products may be toxic or affect hormone levels (endocrine disruptors). The Government Accountability Office has recommended federal research because we currently have little data on the presence and effects of these products. The Water CUPS Act would require this necessary research. The Water CUPS Act will require the EPA within 4 years to:

  • Identify the types and sources of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in drinking water sources
  • Study the effects of these products on human health and the environment
  • Determine methods to mitigate the risks pharmaceuticals and personal care products in drinking water sources

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