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Ensure quality drinking water

Editor:

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has announced that it will give out $1.5 million in federal funds for competitive grants to improve water quality in Virginia. So, here is my approach to ensure quality drinking water in Cumberland County:

Communication: Governor Northam recently established The Virginia Council on Environmental Justice (VCEJ). The very first public meeting was held on Friday, July 12. The Council was very professional, respectful and receptive to everyone including of those who spoke against the Cumberland County mega-landfill. The VCEJ is an excellent venue to voice your concerns. Let’s tap into the talents of these exceptional individuals and not let their experience and knowledge go to waste.

Implementation: Request the General Assembly to expedite the recommendations given to the Virginia Waste Management Board and update the Virginia Waste Management Regulations 9VAC20-81. Here’s an opportunity for our elected officials to make a real change for the environment.

Enforcement: The owners of landfills, fracking and pipeline companies have always expressed to the public how “safe” their industries operate. Let’s put that to the test. With tougher laws, let’s have tougher penalties and tougher fines. Recently, the man who burned Tommie the dog and left him for dead was sentenced to five years in prison without parole. I wonder what type of punishment should be given for killing countless number of animals by destroying their environment?

Ralph Mullins

Cartersville