Water, water, everywhere, but the EPA won’t let us use it!

by Rep. Sal Esquivel (R-Medford)

We finished an informational hearing a week ago Friday in the Business and Labor Committee. The hearing was on the new water quality criteria that the Federal EPA has determined we must meet in Oregon.

It is 10 times more restrictive than the standard we have today.

It will cause Oregon to have the highest criteria not only in the nation, but in the world. I was told it is so stringent that if you pulled water out of the Rogue River, you couldn’t return it because it wouldn’t meet this criteria!

This criteria was established by the amount of fish one eats. According to the survey, there are certain people that eat 140 lbs or more of fish per year. Now let’s think about that much fish. If you ate 1/2 lb of fish per day, you would have to eat fish 280 days a year to eat 140 lbs worth. Well, I know of no one that eats that much fish.  Besides, if you did, it would be bad for you no matter what.  The Feds are claiming, with nothing to back it up, that chemicals in the fish are harming these individuals. Too much of anything is not good for you. So instead of having the people who eat too much fish change their diet, we all have to suffer.

Here is the real crime here: there is no evidence that ingesting that much of these chemicals is even bad for you.  The EPA is just imposing a ruling they pulled out of the air. TYPICAL government thinking. This will literally cripple ALL business that uses water and discharge any of it back into any river or stream.

Congrats to the Federal government for being so shortsighted and taking such an ignorant approach to the issue. When will we use our head for a common sense approach?

I’m for having the Feds stay out of our business and for leaving us alone.

Rep. Sal Esquivel is Co-Vice Chair of the Oregon House Business and Labor Committee