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How clean is clean enough?

In her Spokane River editorial (Aug. 24), Rachael Osborn makes misleading statements.

She says the Clean Water Act requires numerical standards for PCBs. States such as Maine have designated PCBs as a legacy toxic and don’t set standards. Maine has the same Clean Water Act as we do, so there are different opinions on what the Clean Water Act really requires.

More importantly, she says cleanup will be expensive but “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” However, we are not talking about ounces of prevention, but hundreds of millions of dollars of cure, and the river will never be clean enough for Osborn. A lot of these chemicals are released by forest fires.

In the real world, people have to make economic choices. If the people of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene are forced to spend those dollars chasing immeasurable amounts of potentially harmful chemicals, then that money won’t be available for improving the schools, better police protection and filling potholes in the streets.

Don’t trade real benefits for pie in the sky. Encourage your elected officials to take the lawsuit all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to see what the Clean Water Act really requires.

William Rust



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