(August 7, 2019) – The Senate overwhelmingly passed a resolution last week sponsored by Sens. Brown (D-OH) and Portman (R-OH) marking 50 years of environmental progress since the Cuyahoga River on June 22nd, 1969, which helped serve as the impetus for the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The resolution highlights how severe pollution in the river, exemplified by the river catching fire 13 times over a century, ultimately helped spur environmental action including passage of the CWA, the establishment of federal and state environmental protection agencies, and the US-Canadian Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The resolution affirms the Senate’s recognition of the environmental and economic benefits of the CWA and Clean Air Act and commits to continued progress in improving ecosystem health, drinking water quality, and wastewater infrastructure.
The Cuyahoga River fires have been a focus for engagement around clean water in 2019. NACWA Member Agency the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) has been very active commemorating the occasion and subsequent progress made under the CWA through its #RiverReborn initiative. NACWA also held its 2019 Strategic Communications Conference in Cleveland in June, and the River Network held its annual River Rally in the city in June as well.