More than three decades after the Clean Water Act was supposed to make America’s waters clean enough for swimming and fishing, two iconic waterways — the great coastal estuaries of Puget Sound and the Chesapeake Bay — remained in perilous condition. (Aired 2009)
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In this 2009 documentary, FRONTLINE correspondent Hedrick Smith examines why it’s so hard to keep our waters clean. Through interviews with scientists, environmental activists, corporate executives and average citizens impacted by the burgeoning pollution problem, Smith reveals that a growing environmental threat came not from the giant industrial polluters of old, but from chemicals in consumers' face creams, deodorants, prescription medicines and household cleaners that found their way into sewers, storm drains and eventually into America's waterways and drinking water.
Explore additional reporting on "Poisoned Waters" on our website: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/documentary/poisonedwaters/
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FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Park Foundation; and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation, and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen.
Prologue - 00:00
Imperiled Chesapeake Bay - 2:02
Creation of the Environmental Protection Agency - 11:39
Agricultural Pollution - 20:09
Regulating the Poultry Industry - 30:00
Soap, Pharmaceuticals & Plastic as Environmental Contaminants - 41:19
Puget Sound: Hot Spot for Toxic Chemicals - 53:23
A Superfund Site in Seattle’s Duwamish River - 1:00:54
Cleaning Up Industrial Pollution - 1:12:06
Stormwater Runoff Carries Pollutants to Waterways - 1:17:46
Save the Forest, Save the Waters - 1:23:03
The Ecological Impact of Development Sprawl - 1:33:01
From Cars and Highways to Mass Transit - 1:41:32
Credits - 1:50:01