Show some courage
The recent decision by the Department of Environmental Conservation, written by Commissioner David Mears, is unfortunate and disappointing. That the Wachusett Reservoir of Massachusetts fully protects a buffer zone larger than all of Berlin Pond, for all the same reasons stated in the Citizens to Protect Berlin Pond petition, certainly seems science enough to protect the drinking water source for 20,000 people per day. And there has never been a body of water whose quality has not been diminished once exposed to human contact.
We all know, and to some extent accept, how politics works. Commissioner Mears, Secretary Markowitz and all the officials at the Agency of Natural Resources have jobs that depend on being in the good graces of Gov. Shumlin. There is plenty of campaign money for Shumlin’s administration from outdoor sports organizations, and little or no money from the people who depend on the cleanliness of Montpelier’s water. But it would be nice if politicians like Gov. Shumlin could be courageous enough to step outside this system for just a few minutes, become a national leader and make the obvious, farsighted decision that protects this most threatened and essential resource in the world, for the people of his capital city. Instead he has settled for some short-term political gain and, irresponsibly, decided to allow what has been clean, minimally treated water to gradually, or not so gradually, degrade.
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