As Toledo recovered today from contamination of its drinking water, Environment Ohio’s Christian Adams released the following statement:
This weekend, contamination by toxic algae meant that nearly half a million people in the Toledo area could not use their own tap water for drinking, bathing, or cooking. As residents recover from this crisis, one thing is clear: If we want safe drinking water, we must ensure that all of Ohio’s waterways are protected by the Clean Water Act.
Massive runoff pollution from agribusiness in the Maumee River basin is a key cause of toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie, which create oxygen-deprived dead zones that can kill fish and sicken humans. And according to scientists, such problems are likely to get worse as global warming increasingly impacts water levels and temperature.
Moreover, Lake Erie is hardly the only waterway in Ohio at risk of pollution. In the past few years, we’ve seen our waters threatened by sewage overflows, factory farm runoff, and fracking across our state.
A set of polluter-driven lawsuits have stripped critical protections from the drinking water sources for more than 5 million Ohioans. For all these reasons, we must ensure that Clean Water Act protections are once again restored to all of Ohio’s waters
Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a rule to close loopholes in the law and restore protections to all of Ohio’s waters—and thousands of others across the country. But polluting industries are fighting to get the EPA to back down.
In responding to the Toledo contamination this weekend, Governor Kasich rightly asked “What's more important than water? Water's about life.”
We now call upon Governor Kasich to support the proposed rule to restore Clean Water Act protections to Ohio’s waters. Our drinking water lies in the balance.
Environment Ohio is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy group working towards a cleaner, greener, healthier future