by Paul Ciavarri
Dustin White of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition posted several important observations about the Freedom Industries chemical spill in West Virginia.
Besides pointing out that the spill crippled residents in both urban and rural areas of the mountain state, he makes this exhortation:
"Let this disaster becomes a wakeup call to others. West Virginians are already paying the price. If these companies are willing to let this happen to our state, they will let it happen to you. Water is life and we all live downstream."
I certainly agree. And would add it is our responsibility now to keep water clean, refreshing, healthy. And intact as that symbol of life we know it to be. We have that power.
Not only that, we need to put the nation on notice that we mean business.
It is time we demand (in every way possible) the election of representatives sympathetic with the fight for clean water in Appalachia.
It is also time to demand the presence of regulators who see enforcement of the Clean Water Act as more important than the colonial extraction of coal from Appalachia. And the exlusion of regulators who don't.
In other words, as others have said, we need a bold new agenda for Clean Water.
Because what we have now is merely an attempt to contain the extraction industry's brazen agenda to dismantle the Clean Water Act.
Their goal is clear: is to weaken clean water protections, bit by bit, until the Clean Water Act is a mere shadow of its former self.
The time for a bold new agenda is now. The decision to act is ours alone.
Besides, how many more spills will it take until we know that too much precious, life-giving water has either been lost for the wrong reasons (e.g., TVA ash spill) or handed over for detrimental purposes (e.g., mountaintop removal)?