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Summer 1984

Dot Ridings to Speak at Council
Water Water Everywhere, Is it Safe to Drink? (Linda Lai Hipp)
Education at Koolau: Can We Do Better? (Marty McGurk)
O Where O Where Does the Money Go!!? (Carol Whitesell)
Peter's Principles (Peter Herman)
What is Council?
League Joins HCSCH
What Happened at the Legislature (Marion Saunders)
Have You Analyzed Your Reapportionment Plan Today?? (Anne Lee)
ERA Lives!
Comparable Worth or How Much Is Your Job Worth?

Water Water Everywhere, Is it Safe to Drink?

In response to continuing levels of water pollution nationwide, and ongoing efforts to weaken important provisions of the Clean Water Act, the League of Women Voters of Hawaii is strongly calling for Congress to pursue and strengthen the protection of the nation's water resources.

Although pollution levels nationwide have remained constant, conditions of some rivers and lakes have improved, due mainly to the strengthening of the Clean Water Act in 1972. As a direct result of this legislation, fish have returned to many streams, rivers and lakes that were once too polluted to support aquatic life. Some waters once hazardous to human health are now clean enough for recreational activities.

However, in spite of the Clean Water Act, more than 400 million pounds of toxic metals and organic chemicals are still being dumped into public sewers and waterways each year. Further clouding the issue are efforts to weaken provisions of the Clean Water Act. The administration has issued disappointingly weak regulations for controlling toxic pollutant discharges, slashed funding for research and state water programs, and proposed regulations which would lower water quality standards.

For the past year, committees of both Congressional houses have been working on Clean Water Act reauthorization bills.

The LWV of Hawaii has called for our Senators to support S.B. 431, a compromise bill which would maintain vital provisions of the Clean Water Act. The League has also asked for support of S.B. 2006, which addresses problems such as runoff from agriculture, city streets, forestry and construction.

The League is also asking Representatives to adopt H.R. 3282, which would clean up bays and estuaries; bar the Environmental Protection Agency and states from eliminating protection of pristine waters; establish timely cleanup deadlines; and require comprehensive toxic control strategies for areas where waters are unable to meet clean water standards. The resolution, in regards to Hawaii, would reverse federal administration actions which weakened wetlands protection to ensure that no dredging or filling be allowed unless the Corps of Engineers finds that there are no practical alternatives and no unacceptable adverse impacts. The resolution would also ban sewage disposal in estuaries or sensitive ocean inlets such as Kawainui Marsh on Oahu.

According to a survey conducted by Business Magazine in November 1983, 94 percent of the public support the Clean Water Act and feel it should be strengthened or kept intact. The LWV of Hawaii intends to continue its lobbying in this cause.

Linda Lai Hipp

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