A senior EPA administrator said Thursday that aluminum brakes may be used as a “mineral cleaner” for polluted lakes and rivers.
“The best technology for cleaning up polluted water is water,” Carol Browner said at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on water pollution.
“It’s not going to be a replacement for clean water.”
She added, “I don’t think that there’s any question that aluminum is a valuable resource.”
“You’re talking about millions of tons of aluminum being dumped every year into our lakes and our rivers, which are basically a critical source of drinking water for millions of Americans,” Browner testified.
Browner, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s water quality program, has been under fire from some Republicans for her stance on the agency’s environmental regulations, particularly on water quality.
The agency’s water-quality standards have been met with mixed reviews by the public.
A spokesman for Browner, Chris Lehane, said she’s been a critic of the EPA for a long time, and that she believes there are more options to improve water quality than the agency currently has.
“She’s also been very clear that there are other options that would be more effective, and we’re going to explore those,” Lehane said.
The EPA, however, has not been shy about its criticism of the agency, with several officials testifying to Congress in the past week that the agency has not done enough to enforce its rules on chemicals, including the chemical arsenic.
In January, for example, a senior EPA official testified before Congress that the department was considering changing its own water rules to require testing of drinking-water supplies for arsenic in drinking water.