New EPA Rule to Clarify Water Protections
*EPA finalized the Clean Water Protection Rule*
Thank you for commenting on the Clean Water Act Rulemaking!
In an important development, a new federal rule has been proposed that will assure clean water protections for some of our most important streams and wetlands. Recently, there has been a lot of legal confusion and controversy over whether smaller streams and certain wetlands are protected. As a result, some waters have become vulnerable to dumping, pollution, destruction etc. The unclear definition of what is protected has left 60% of our streams and at least 20% of the wetlands in the U.S. threatened. These streams and wetlands help reduce flooding, supply drinking water, and provide critical support like flow, pollution filtration, and food for fish and wildlife in downstream waters.
The proposed Clean Water Protection rule provides clarity, efficiency, and cleaner water by better defining which rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands the Clean Water Act protects while maintaining existing agricultural exemptions. The rule provides certainty regarding who needs to control pollution and who does not. It is based on a vast body of scientific literature that recognizes the vital connections between smaller streams and wetlands and downstream waters. It also presents the opportunity to tell the agencies to fully protect waters that are often wrongly written off as “isolated,” but that science shows provide important functions. Learn more about wetlands types.
By participating in the rulemaking process (e.g. sending comments), we can insist that the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers ensure automatic protection for all streams and wetlands known to have significant connections to downstream waters.
We expect strong opposition from institutions that use our rivers, streams, and wetlands as dumping grounds. Regretfully these polluters have the ear of many members of Congress and are working hard to defeat the rule. Don’t let them block this noble effort. Together we can ensure the Clean Water Protection rule is finalized and our waters protected. Stand up for clean water today!