Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Not by air, not by land, and certainly not by river or sea.

Most of my interest in river conservation and restoration has to do with what I can physically see, reach, and remove… or at least inventory so the debris can be removed later. However, there is a story in today’s New York Times which reminds me of those things I cannot see.

The article focuses on a coal plant in Masontown, Pennsylvania. But a correlating side-bar offered by the NY Times shows that what’s happening in that community could be happening somewhere close to yours. According to the story, it seems that in their quest to reduce air pollution, the plant was using water to “scrub” the emissions, but then releasing the contaminated water into a local river.

Just so we’re clear, I don’t consider myself anything near an activist, and I certainly have nothing against the coal industry. I believe our future must be fueled by a wide variety of energy solutions, including solar, wind, wave, bio-fuels… and yes, hopefully, even clean coal (if we can eventually get that figured out). But I point this article out to you as a reminder that, apparently, not everyone is abiding to the rules set forth by the Clean Water Act.

Sometimes, citizens need to be vocal about these matters. After all, the driving idea behind the Clean Water Act is that the few and powerful should not profit… by damaging or destroying a water resource that belongs to all. Moving pollution from the air to the water is not an upgrade.

© 2009 Michael Anderson, St. Michael, MN. All rights reserved.

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