Clean Water Act turns 30; renewed federal commitment needed

"Aquathin OP-ED Commentary"

This quick read article below is a must for each Authorized Aquathin Dealer to present in their Educational Training of their Team concerning the future of our water and include this information with the April 11, 2002 Splash NewsBulletin concerning the estimated cost for immediate upgrade of our water infrastructure at $650 billion.

Needless to say, the Clean Water Act is tremendously important. But as we demonstrate at Aquathin U., "the laws protecting our drinking water are becoming more strict. The water we were told to drink 20 years ago, was not safe by today's standards. And the laws 20 years from now will be even more protective. We cannot wait to receive the safest water. That is why Aquathin provides the very best in home water security.............Today !" I love my Aquathin !!

Clean Water Act turns 30; renewed federal commitment needed

WASHINGTON — The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) today — the 30th anniversary of the federal Clean Water Act — praised the efforts of entities that work to ensure clean water, but said despite 30 years of hard work the nation's water quality remains at risk.  "Thanks in large part to the efforts of the nation's publicly owned treatment works (POTWs), which treat billions of gallons of wastewater every day, America's rivers, lakes and streams have witnessed significant water quality gains and public health improvements," AMSA said in a news release.

The group said the work of public servants to adhere to the law have eliminated "the horror stories of the 1970s — Lake Erie on her deathbed; the Cuyahoga River bursting into flames, and waterways all over the country closed for swimming and fishing."  "At the heart of these improvements is the 1972 Clean Water Act, under which the nation launched an unprecedented initiative to combat water pollution, enabling us to improve water quality across the board while at the same time enjoying record economic growth and a sizeable population expansion," said the group.

A key to the success, however, was "a strong federal funding infusion in the form of the construction grants program that helped communities across the country build sewage treatment plants.  At its peak in the 1970s, the federal government was paying for 90 percent of wastewater infrastructure funding, a commitment that has since dwindled to under 10 percent."

AMSA said that with all construction, infrastructure has a finite lifespan, and without a long-term federal recommitment to clean water, "the nation risks losing the water quality gains for which it has worked so hard over the past 30 years."  "Despite 30 years of hard work the nation's water quality remains at risk. An EPA report released this month shows that more than a third of our rivers, lakes and streams are currently impaired," the group noted.  "Simply stated, much more must be done," said Ken Kirk, AMSA executive director. "And over the past two weeks a parade of original Clean Water Act legislators, environmentalists, EPA leaders, municipal and industry officials have all voiced what that is: a renewed, long-term, federal commitment to America's waters."

The anniversary of the Clean Water Act "is a time to celebrate the nation's water quality progress. Yet, at the same time, we must acknowledge and accept that future progress will depend largely on the will of the federal government to join with state and local governments to ensure continued improvement in the nation's water quality," the AMSA statement said.

"Should the federal government fail to make a long-term, financial commitment to our clean water future, these past 30 years of water quality progress will have been in vain," an eventuality AMSA will work hard to ensure never comes to pass, said the group.  AMSA is a national trade association representing more than 280 publicly owned treatment works across the country.


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Edited from Tech Bank 10/21/02