Stand up for clean water

Celebrating the 42nd anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a new report from Environment Minnesota, “Waterways Restored,” highlights the success the law has meant for Minneapolis’ Powderhorn Lake, taking it from near contamination almost 15 years ago to the present pristine quality.

This is just one example of success but the larger battle still commences because of a loophole in the Clean Water Act that has left over 51 percent of Minnesota’s streams, including those that feed into larger waterways, vulnerable to pollution. This poses a threat to cherished outdoor pastimes like fishing, boating, swimming and all aquatic activities by potentially contaminating local waters.

Thankfully, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed closing this loophole to protect all of the state’s rivers and streams. The agency is taking public comments on its rule until Nov. 14, but polluters are campaigning against it.

 Local waters like Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet continue to be vital natural resources for Minneapolis so it is imperative they are protected. The Clean Water Act has meant progress for Powderhorn Lake, but its promise isn’t yet fulfilled. It is very important for EPA to stand up to the polluters and restore safeguards to all of the rivers and streams so that we can continue to enjoy our local waters and all they have to offer.

Brian Wasz
Environment Minnesota