By Bob Wendelgass, Clean Water Action President and CEO – Follow Bob on Twitter (@bwendelgass)
This post was originally published on We All Live Downstream
If you drink water, EPA’s new Clean Water rule is great news.
If you fish or canoe or kayak or row or swim, EPA’s new Clean Water rule is great news.
If you drink beer or use a computer, EPA’s new Clean Water rule is great news.
If you believe in science, EPA’s new Clean Water rule is great news.
After ten years, the US Environmental Protection Agency has restored protection under the Clean Water Act to 62% of our stream miles and to 20 million acres of wetlands. These are streams and wetlands that used to be protected from pollution and destruction, but lost that protection about ten years ago. For thirty years, these streams and wetlands were protected; but overnight, they were put at risk.
The change wasn’t based on science. The science is clear. Small streams and so-called isolated wetlands are fundamental parts of our overall watersheds. Even small kids understand that small streams are connected to the bigger ones. And thousands of scientific studies have confirmed the out-sized impact these little streams have on water quality and quantity in our overall watershed.
These changes weren’t little things either. Overnight, the sources of drinking water for 1 in 3 Americans were put at risk. Overnight, tens of thousands of jobs in outdoor related businesses like fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, boating and swimming were put at risk. Other jobs in fields from clean tech to craft brewing were put at risk as well.
The American public understands the importance of protecting our water. In a recent poll, 80% said they supported the Clean Water rule. And over the past ten years, at least a million of us have written or called or emailed EPA or our elected official to tell them it was time to restore protection to all of America’s waters.
Thank you EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and President Obama for making this happen. And thank you to all the Clean Water Action members over the past ten years who helped make this happen. The new Clean Water rule is great news for our water and our communities!