Much has been written about the environment and pollution in the Mid-Oho Valley.
think we all would agree that the goal is a clean and healthy
environment. Pollution and the environment are not issues isolated to
the Washington and Wood counties’ region. Pollution is a topic of
discussion in urban areas dealing with emissions from automobiles and
The environment is an issue throughout the
Rust Belt states, home to thousands of manufacturing plants. Pollution
is an issue for those who live and work near large-scale poultry farms
or large agricultural complexes. Environmental issues are a concern in
the southern and western states where water resources are strained as
more and more people flock to those areas.
Recently, the focus
was on environmental issues as Earth Day was observed In Marietta and
throughout the United States. And around the world the debate continues
over global climate change, or as some say, global warming. As Thomas
J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, wrote, “As the
nation observed Earth Day on Saturday (April 22) the debate over global
climate change reached a fever pitch.
stand on that issue, it raises interesting questions about science, the
environment, and mankind’s role in it. Many would have us believe the
debate is over whether we have a clean environment or a strong economy.”
environment or strong economy? Clean air or jobs? Do we have to make a
choice? Environmental issues are complex and challenging. Information
and studies are filled with terminology and technologies that few
people can understand. So how do we measure our environment and assess
our risk? Through a comprehensive view that would take into account the
many factors that impact air, water, soil, and health conditions.
Health risks should include factors beyond water and air pollution. For
example, there is a high rate of smoking among residents of the
Mid-Ohio Valley. Obesity and lack of exercise are also health risks.
Studies need to take into account life style choices. Using the best
scientific and risk assessment information available and with
consideration to human health, economic impacts, and future effects of
pollution control initiatives already under way can result in a cleaner
environment without forcing the choice between the environment or jobs.
Donohue’s article in the April 25, uschamber.com weekly concluded with,
“We don’t have to make a choice between economic growth and
environmental preservation. We can — and should — do both. American
business has a strong track record of growing the economy while
improving the environment. Over the past 35 years, it has spent $3
trillion making our air, land, and water the cleanest it’s ever been
through innovation and voluntary action.
Let’s take a stand for the environment, but let’s do it with commonsense principles.”
Keim is president of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce, 316 Third
St., Marietta. Chamber Viewpoint appears every other Monday on the
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