Rory Lambert-Wright: Importance of protecting water should not be debated



Last modified: Friday, July 10, 2015

To the editor:

A commodity as essential as safe, clean water shouldn’t be a topic of intense debate. Unfortunately, we seem to live in a society where protection of basic human necessities is a topic worth arguing over.

The Obama administration has recently reviewed and clarified the EPA’s and the Army Corps of Engineers’ regulatory powers in regard to the Clean Water Act. These rules broaden the definition of “America’s protected waters” to include small tributaries, brooks and many other bodies of water which were previously unprotected. This is undeniably and unquestionably beneficial to the health and well-being of America’s people and waterways. The drinking water of nearly 5 million Massachusetts residents is directly affected by these clarifications, and on the national level, the drinking water of over 117 million Americans is affected.

So why are we facing resistance? The classic arguments rear their ugly heads, perhaps the most prevalent being “this is harmful to business.”

Having the capacity to simply dump waste and ignore runoff is more cost-effective than practicing safe disposal methods. But the importance of a business’ ability to run itself at its most cost-efficient capacity pales in comparison to the importance of preserving our clean water.

Why entertain a response as disproportionate as keeping 2 million miles of America’s waterways unprotected in order to defend a sliver of private profits?

This issue is on the Senate floor. The fate of the Clean Water Act will be decided upon in the near future. If you’ve ever enjoyed the miraculous privilege of turning a knob in your home when you’re thirsty, and filling a glass of water to drink, I implore you to contact your representatives in order to ensure that they champion this issue. Our nation’s health is at risk.

Rory Lambert-Wright

Amherst


 


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