In late summer, I would swim and stream-walk a small section of the Raccoon River. While sedimented for decades now, the water was clear in the shallows. For a few years now, the water is pea-green from edge-to-edge. For decades and worse now, this water has strongly contributed to a vast hypoxia zone in the Gulf.
In the 1980s, I wrote about the wisdom of the river, focusing on the Des Moines River as a living, very open metaphor for the essential streaming dynamic of the universe that is within us as well in the streaming of our body metabolism and thought.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Misguided Iowa State And Federal Policies Impacting Water Quality
Your 2 Cents’ Worth excerpts, Part 9 [various readers submissions/ Des Moines Register]:
Letters To The Editor
An indisputable truth: Des Moines water is polluted
Patricia Prijatel, Des Moines, Letter to the Editor, 3/25/017
Des Moines water is polluted, requiring millions of dollars of treatment before it is drinkable. That’s an indisputable truth. And hog confinement lots and cattle operations upriver are major causes of our unhealthy water, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
It was a brilliant political move by a hog farmer in Keota to draw our attention away from the real problem through his heavy-handed legislation dissolving the Des Moines Water Works. Mean-spirited and short-sighted and not in the overall interest of Des Moines or the state of Iowa, but darn clever. And it punishes the one agency that is actually serving citizens by cleaning up our water.
So can we regain our focus and remember that one fact: Our water is polluted. And dirty water is a health hazard, period. It’s linked to, among other things, cancer, infant deaths, miscarriages and nervous system problems.
Stop the diversions and the finger pointing and the rhetoric and the bogus legislation and the ineffective Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. It’s past time to take measurable and meaningful action upstream to clean up our water. Somebody show some spine and leadership here and make those who are causing the problem accountable for their destruction.
The EPA saves lives
Karen Johnson, Fairfield, Letter to the Editor, 3/23/2017
My father was a foreman at General Electric Co. in Massachusetts from the 1940s to the '70s. He was told to clean out a vat of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) with another man. The other man was overcome by the fumes, fell into the vat and died. My father got skin cancer. Luckily, he eventually beat it.
A few years later GE buried the PCBs under the ground. People built houses there. Many got cancer and died. GE said they were innocent since they did not know PCBs were toxic. How many people have to die before we know something is toxic? There was no Environmental Protection Agency then.
When GE pulled out of the area, most of the city was employed by GE. They all lost their jobs.
I need to know President Donald Trump cares about all, not just the wealthy. If the president feels the EPA is wrong, then he should then make changes to fix the problems, not dismantle the EPA.
The environment needs to be regulated on the federal level, as the problems are bigger than the state level.
A job is not as important as health. Without health, you have nothing of value.