Dangerous nitrate pollution has contaminated private drinking water wells and public water utilities in several regions across the United States, posing a significant threat to people's health. A recent Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) report indicates that this problem has reached Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore, an agricultural area that's home to hundreds of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that house millions of chickens. Roughly 2 million Marylanders rely on well water as their primary drinking source. Private well owners are expected to take the safety of their drinking water into their own hands, but many believe their well water is safe to drink, do not know they should test annually, or cannot afford the cost of testing.
On January 25, attendees heard from state legislators and an environmental health expert who are supporting legislative measures to provide greater protections for Maryland families who drink well water.
- State Sen. Katie Fry Hester (D-Carroll and Howard counties) is a strong advocate for measures to protect drinking water, and she sits on the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee.
- Del. Vaughn Stewart (D-Montgomery County) is the lead sponsor of legislation to create a well water safety program and sits on the House Environment and Transportation Committee.
- Darya Minovi, MPH, is a CPR Policy Analyst and public health advocate passionate about environmental justice, health, and policy.
CPR Policy Analyst Katlyn Schmitt moderated the discussion.
View the webinar slide presentation.
Watch the webinar recording below, or view on CPR's YouTube channel.