Letter to the Editor: Sacrificial waters

Eminent Domain is the right of governments or their agency to take private property for the public good with just compensation. It’s been used to take homes for building roads, city lots for development, tribal lands for highways & railroads, farmlands for pipelines … even with work done by private corporations.

Safe drinking water has been a highest priority for us all, so why aren’t all our waterways and their adjoining banks given Eminent Domain protections to serve this incredibly critical public good? We have politely ‘asked’ farmers not to pollute our water for decades. We have drawn up recommendations for farmers to use voluntarily to decrease polluting public waters, and even pay them good taxpayers money to do so. In essence, we are paying them to NOT damage what rightfully belongs to every living being.

Eminent Domain should be applied to all our waterways and with large setbacks on both sides (like railroads and highways) from polluting sources made by farmers, livestock confinements or corporations, and any damage should be punishable by enforced jail time and fines. The public should certainly not have to pay to protect our most important public good.

After all, water is life.

Mary McBee