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Clean water is important and it is high time we the public put some serious thought to the matter. It is time that we move past whether there is dirt in the water and start wondering what chemicals, hormones, drugs and other man-made concoctions that are not being measured are in there. I am far more concerned with what we put in the environment than whether someone is moving dirt around.
I think it was a planning commission report that said during one good Juneau rain storm, the Taku River would dump more material into the ecosystem downstream than the AJ would in its entire operating life. The material is the same stuff: that which was eroded by rain and the other dug by man and machine. Think of all the chemicals we ingest. Do you really believe that is the end of the compounds' existence here on earth? Just think of all the Prozac ingested above St. Louis, and how many people below are medicated by drinking public water. Just because we flush the toilet does not make everything go away. It is just moved out of our perception.
Environmental scientists need to ask better questions and figure out how to measure the human impact. We put so many chemicals, bacteria, hormones, drugs and whatnot into the environment and don't even try to measure that impact. Just recently a gigantic "Golly Jee" occurred when a chemical in sunscreen was determined to be the agent messing up the Pacific turbot and English sole.
Clean water is important, and I for one am more concerned with the stuff I can't see.
Bradley J. Fluetsch