Village of Saugerties trustees expressed their unhappiness with the Trump administration’s gutting of the federal Clean Water Act at last Monday’s meeting, and voted to pass a resolution supporting the Hudson River sloop Clearwater’s sail to Washington, D.C. The sloop is getting ready to sail to D.C. and bring with it ‘a cargo of concern’ “documenting the broad-based concerns of citizens, public-interest groups, and municipal and state officials throughout New York about growing threats to our water and to federal clean water protection and the need for sound, science-based water policy,” according to the resolution passed by the trustees.
“We need to keep the regulations,” says trustee Donald Hackett, who at one time ran the Rhinebeck wastewater department. “What the government is doing is ridiculous, especially with the Hudson River as one of our most important resources.”
“We are terribly over-regulated,” said trustee Vincent Buono. “But this is something that affects our lives and the lives of our children.”
Trustees talked about how the river would change colors every time the local paper mill, which emptied into the Hudson, would change the dye it was using to color its paper. They recalled how fishermen were warned not to eat more than one fish a week from that river. Not so long ago, they had to worry about the dangers of PCBs released into the river.
The Saugerties paper plants are now gone. PCB levels have been reduced. The river is now a healthier color, and the fish are safer to eat. The village board now wants Washington to know that clean water is everyone’s greatest resource.