7

Views

America?s Most Endangered Rivers

The organization highlights ten rivers each year in order to draw attention to many threats facing U.S. rivers today, including pollution, wetlands destruction, hydropower dams, inadequate sewer treatment centers, excessive water withdrawals, and urban sprawl.

American Rivers Organization states that the White House and Congress are making the situation worse by cutting clean water law enforcement and spending on pollution. The Colorado River tops the list, with mounting radioactive, toxic, and human waste. It supplies water for 25 million people, including the residents of Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The report states that the Bush Administration?s clean water record can be summed up in three words: soft of crime. In particular, the administration has reduced the number of Clean Water Enforcement actions, levied fewer and smaller fines on lawbreakers, and created new loopholes on behalf of polluting industries.

The report claims that the White House and Congress are also shortchanging communities that are seeking a helping hand to clean up their waters. The federal government?s share of sewage treatment construction costs falls from 20% to just 5%; and the White House seeks to cut federal funding by another third by 2005.

The report states that Congress has effectively shifted the burden of cleaning up contaminated rivers, and other toxic sites, from polluters to the public. The number of sites cleaned up each year has dropped by almost half.

The 2004 list of rivers includes the Colorado River, Big Sunflower River, Snake River, Tennessee River, the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, Spokane River, Housatonic River, Peace River, Big Darby Creek, and the Mississippi River.

To Review a copy of the report, click here http://www.amrivers.org/mostendangeredriversof2004announced.html