Safeguarding water is critical to our way of life

Summer is here and many of us are heading out to spend time on the water.

I’m glad the Environmental Protection Agency has recently proposed a long-overdue rule that will safeguard water quality across the country.

This new proposal is really an old one. It simply clarifies which bodies of water are protected under the Clean Water Act.

The proposal will restore federal protections to 2 million miles of streams – waters that provide drinking water to 117 million Americans and vital habitat for wildlife.

Like just about everything else these days, the proposal has generated some controversy in the halls of Congress. But many of those making wild claims about the rule may not have read the proposal or understand its sweeping exemptions for the agricultural community.

On the next hot day, please sit down with a cool glass of clean water and know that most of the people in Hawaii and the rest of America aren’t rich and drink tap water.

So, please send our members of Congress an email letting them know about the importance of clean water and healthy wetlands and streams – for our economy, for wildlife and for our way of life.

Mike Okumura