The Clean Water Act Turns 40 This Week

Written by Amanda Starbuck

Topics: Coal, Learn

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Cuyahoga river fire

Happy Birthday to the Clean Water Act!

Forty years ago this week a ground-breaking environmental protection was passed into federal law, enshrining a human right to clean water.

Many of our allies have marked the occasion by celebrating some of the major improvements that this legislation has meant for waterways across the U.S., for example Ohio’s Cuyahoga River, which (in)famously caught fire several times in the 1950s and 1960s.

And while the Environmental Protection Agency has been celebrating too—check out their birthday website—Administrator Lisa Jackson also acknowledges that there is still much to be done.

And we agree.

In recent years the Clean Water Act has been gutted by corporate-funded legislators.

As long as Appalachian streams continue to be buried by mountaintop removal removal coal mining waste, and as long as community water supplies continue to be poisoned, we cannot consider the Clean Water Act to be doing it’s job.

So here’s a birthday wish: may the Clean Water Act be upheld, enforced and updated to ensure that all Americans can enjoy clean water.

Appalachian Stream

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