October is the month for scary stories, so here goes. Once upon a time, there were no federal standards to protect #waterquality in our #rivers, #streams, #bays, and #lakes. The result? Rivers like Ohio’s #CuyahogaRiver caught fire multiple times before the infamous fire in 1969. The average loss of #wetlands in the United States from the 1950s to the 1970s was 458,000 acres per year. So much industrial #pollution and agricultural runoff fouled #LakeErie that it was declared dead in the 1960s – the pollution was so devastating that Dr. Seuss referred to Lake Erie’s deterioration in The #Lorax.
In 1972, Congress passed the #CleanWaterAct, which, for forty-five years, has helped safeguard our nation’s water resources. The Act established pollution controls and water quality minimums that states must reach. It also established grant programs for states, territories, and tribes that are critical to help focus local and state efforts to achieve these standards. Over the past four decades, the rate of wetland loss slowed, rivers stopped catching fire, and the number of waters that meet clean water goals nationwide has doubled.
Since 2014, more than 1 million Americans have told the #EPA that clean water is essential to their way of life. These voices will not be silent as the Administration moves forward with its plan to weaken the Clean Water Act.