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You can’t, but you must, or else

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For government regulators, is there an advantage in requiring their subjects and subordinates do the impossible? Is there a benefit to requiring what cannot be done? For logical minds the question is silly — nobody can require the impossible, because it’s just not possible. Yes, but that doesn’t stop them in Oregon.

Washington may follow. Many fear the state soon may order any treated wastewater emptied into a public waterway be cleaner than it is possible to make clean, more pure than naturally pure, better than the river or the good rain before it hits the ground. Of course, doing the impossible can be impossibly expensive. You may get the bill if your toilet is connected to a treatment plant, and even then we won’t meet their standard.

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