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The recent public discussion over Wausau’s proposed environmental justice document seems to once again bring up the old argument that a clean environment and a growing economy are not compatible.
Just the opposite is true.
The cities that succeed and prosper in the future will be sustainable cities — places where air and water and land are clean, and pollution and wasteful consumption have been eliminated. They will be places where people want to live and businesses want to locate because the environment is healthy.
A clean environment creates jobs, not eliminates them. Since the Clean Water Act of 1972, countless numbers of jobs have been created to build the water infrastructure and staff the facilities—engineers, manufacturers, operators, technicians, managers, among many others.
A clean environment creates economic value. Picture a polluted, stinky Wisconsin River of decades ago and imagine new condominiums, restaurants, town houses and retail developments along its banks. Wouldn’t happen. “River Life” is aptly named.
So come on everybody, get on board with an environmental justice resolution that positions Wausau as a city of the future, poised for success.