These new rules are a crucial step to clean up the waters of the U.S. They are a compromise among competing interests, but they should bring clarity to the approach the EPA must take to reign in remaining uncontrolled pollution.
We come to see natural treasures no longer as merely divisible property but as gifts protected by boundaries we create and honor, knowing that all life depends on their integrity. The shift is underway.
It's time we pay more attention to the natural sources of water we depend on every day. Because the land in a watershed affects the water quality it's important that we have a good idea of the state of the land around our water sources.
Stand at your kitchen sink and fill up a glass of water from the tap. Can you guess where that water comes from? Or how far it traveled to get to your tap? What about how adequately -- or not -- the land at the source is protected?
The gas drilling practice known as "fracking" has a history of contaminating water supplies, but that won't stop its use in the area from which New York City, Philadelphia, and parts of New Jersey get their water.