The conclusions about environmental stewardship drawn by Glenn Thompson in his Aug. 12 column (“EPA overreaches on Waters of the U.S. rule”) are revealing and revolting.
I’m a native of Toledo, Ohio, and I visited my hometown in August. I experienced the Toledo water crisis firsthand. The algae bloom in Lake Erie caused toxins to foul the water, leaving 400,000 people without potable water. Toledo has been called “the canary in the proverbial coal mine,” but it is just the first of many communities destined to experience such algae blooms if our legislators don’t heed the “freshwater canary.”
In 2011, Lake Erie experienced the largest harmful algae bloom determined to be caused by long-term agricultural practices (industrial farm run-offs of fertilizer composed of increased phosphorus). This runoff provides just what algae needs to bloom and produce toxins. Lessons were not learned in 2011. History just repeated itself. The weakest link in our water purification system appears to be the willingness of elected officials like Thompson to put freshwater at risk from industrial and agricultural waste.
GOP lawmakers like Thompson appear to be dedicated to environmental destruction. Nothing is sacred, not even critical freshwater supplies. It appears that Glenn Thompson wants to decrease regulations that affect industry, agriculture and energy companies instead of protecting freshwater for all living creatures in his district. Our very survival depends on making decisions to protect our waterways to prevent a water crisis like the most recent one in Toledo.
Brenda F. Walsh