Yom Huledet Sameach, Clean Water Act!
Dear Clean Water Act,
Happy 41st Birthday! You may be over the hill, but at least you are not buried under it. Well, unless of course the hill is a mountain top that has been dumped into a nearby valley.
Today we celebrate 41 years of you, Clean Water Act – a huge, comprehensive piece of legislation that restored and continues to protect the ecological health of our nation’s wetlands, streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries. You were passed by Congress with an overwhelming bipartisan vote and since being enacted in 1972, you have removed more than one billion pounds per year of toxic pollutants from our nation’s waters, funded wastewater treatments plants and tightened regulations of toxic chemical discharges from industry reducing pollution in many lakes, rivers, wetlands and coastal areas.
We remember when you were just a bill at a time when Congress could rise above partisan politics and support the goals of a sweeping piece of legislation that aimed to restore and maintain the ecology of our nation’s waters for the overall protection of our environment.
Still, we grant you a birthday prayer to bring strength to you in meeting your not-yet-achieved goals: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24). With that, we hope you will improve the 40 percent of our nation’s waters that are still not fishable and swimmable. Additionally, the current wastewater treatment systems dump an estimated 2.3 trillion gallons of inadequately treated sewage into coastal waters and industries continue to release toxic chemicals into coastal areas threatening the quality of our drinking water. Don’t worry though – we are here to help. We are here to keep you strong.
So, CWA, we raise a glass of clean drinking water to you! Happy Birthday and cheers!