Lake Michigan is not being adequately protected from invasive species, PCBs, hexavalent chromium or oil spills. Even an effective regional EPA leader cannot succeed, because neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party has ever ceded real power to the EPA.

The success of the EPA has been in shutting down coal-fired plants for improved air quality. But coal is gone, so this achievement, although important, is not huge. Forcing the S.S. Badger to stop spewing coal ash into Lake Michigan was not difficult and should have happened a decade ago.

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The aim of the Great Lakes Compact is to prohibit diversion of water outside of the basin. Legislative support is needed. Recently, an Asian carp was discovered on the wrong side of the electronic barrier. If permanent closure of the Mississippi tributary to Lake Michigan were to be recommended by the EPA, then the legislature must still be persuaded to fund the project.

If enough legislators, representing both parties, whose legislative values matched the above recommendation, then funding would be a ready possibility.

We lakers, Alliance for the Great Lakes, 8 States Compact, and the National Wildlife Federation can mount a united front against privatization of any aspect of Lake Michigan, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation, the water pipelines and any aspect of our drinking water. Let’s keep water public.

Kathie Newhouse, Hyde Park

Russia presses Trump’s button

President Trump has bragged about the size of his “much bigger” button. He does have a big button, as demonstrated by his outbursts after new revelations from the New York Times or the Washington Post, or new subpoenas or indictments from Mueller’s special counsel probe.

I wonder: Is anyone considering the possibility that Russia is using Syria to deliberately push Trump’s button? There are some very serious risks here.

Michael Hart, West Ridge