Fen Wetland Restoration in Ovando, MT | Photo: USFWS
All Americans now have an opportunity to voice their support for clean water nationwide by saying “NO” to a Trump Administration effort to rescind the waters of the United States (WOTUS) EPA rule. Citizens have only until September 27, 2017, to register their comments, an extremely short public comment period for such an important decision.
The WOTUS, more commonly known as the Clean Water Rule, was developed and implemented after years of research, public hearings and comments by hundreds of thousands of citizens concerned about the environment. More than 80 percent of the comments received regarding the Clean Water Rule were supportive of its implementation.
But the new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to reverse this rule with no scientific research, no hearings and only a 60-day comment period. This 60-day comment period is the only way for citizens to make their voices heard on this attempt to rollback regulations to protect the nation’s waterways.
As chair of the Senate’s Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Tennessee’s Senior Senator Lamar Alexander should have a better understanding the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Clean Water Rule.
Senator Alexander claimed the new Clean Water Rule is an attempt to regulate Tennessee farmer’s mud puddles, but he knows agriculture is exempted from the Clean Water Act. Farmers have little to be concerned about in regards to the Clean Water Rule.
Senator Alexander said the new Clean Water Rule would allow EPA to regulate nearly all of the water in the United States. The facts show that the Clean Water Rule is not an expansion of the Clean Water Act, but a clarification of the law’s application following United States Supreme Court decisions that muddied the waters of CWA’s jurisdiction…pardon the pun.
Senator Alexander asserted the proposal to revoke the Clean Water Rule would give power back to the states to regulate water and land resources. The states already regulate water resources through delegated authority from the Clean Water Act. Not to mention, rivers don’t stop at state boundaries. National cohesion is crucial.
The new Clean Water Rule is designed to protect America’s drinking water from pollution. Millions of people get their drinking water from lakes, rivers and aquifers - water resources that are clearly covered by the Clean Water Act.
However, about one out of every three people get their drinking water from a water source that is temporary or flows intermittently. The scientific studies conducted by EPA clearly show a connection between small and/or temporary streams and larger bodies of water like lakes and rivers.
Quoting from the EPA study abstract, “The scientific literature unequivocally demonstrates that streams, regardless of their size or frequency of flow, are connected to downstream waters and strongly influence their function.”
It is important to protect these sources of water, as the more polluted they are, the more it costs to remove contaminants and other nasty things at the water treatment plants. Constructing new or expanding existing facilities is an expensive proposition, so it is better for the taxpayer to control any polluting activities at thesource.
I urge all Americans click on this link to voice your support for the 2015 Clean Water Rule. Let’s speak out in a united voices against this attack on clean water in the United States.