On June 22, we celebrated the 50-year revival of the Cuyahoga River. The Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, led to the current health and restoration of the river that we see today.
The Trump administration’s proposal to weaken the Clean Water Act would permanently remove protections from important streams and wetlands across the nation.
Millions of people nationwide drink water from sources that could now be vulnerable to pollution from things like mining waste, manufacturing chemicals, oil spills, agricultural fecal matter and fertilizer runoff. Streams that affect water quality in places like Lake Erie could lose protection.
With many Americans already dealing with unsafe drinking water, we need stronger — not weaker — protections. This proposal is particularly bad for wetlands. If it is finalized, at least half of the nation’s wetlands will be more easily plowed under or paved over. This will have devastating impacts for wildlife and will increase flood risks for people.
This is not a partisan issue: A recent poll of hunters and anglers found that 92 percent of respondents want to strengthen or maintain federal clean water protections rather than weaken them.
For more than 47 years, the Clean Water Act has protected the waters that we all rely on. There is no reason to turn back the clock. I urge Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman to oppose this short-sighted move by the administration. If you want to continue to see the revival and protection of rivers and streams across the U.S., please call your representatives. Let’s not return to the days of the burning river.
Melanie Wilson, Peninsula