Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized the Clean Water Rule to protect the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources from pollution and degradation.
Water is life… for people, crops, livestock, and wildlife as well as farms, ranches, business and industry. The proposed Clean Water Rule is a crucial step in clearing the regulatory waters and protecting the quality of America’s surface waters, our most vital natural resource.
John Crabtree, Center for Rural Affairs
“The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers did as promised, they considered the more than one million comments that they received on the rule, they addressed concerns, refined and improved the rule,” said John Crabtree of the Center for Rural Affairs. “We are encouraged by the refinements and clarifications that EPA and the Army Corps have undertaken in this process, and encouraged to see better Clean Water Act enforcement poised to move forward.”
According to Crabtree, the revised rule ensures that surface water quality is protected under the Clean Water Act through a rule that is grounded in both law and science. Nearly one in three Americans get drinking water from streams that lacked clear protection before the Clean Water Rule. And healthy ecosystems provide more than drinking water, they provided wildlife habitat and places for fishing, swimming and paddling. Clean water is an economic driver for manufacturing, farming, ranching, tourism, recreation, and energy production.
“Perhaps most importantly, this rule was shaped, and improved, by public input,” Crabtree concluded. “EPA and the Army Corps asked Americans to weigh in on this rule, and over one million of them did so. That process will allow the rule to clear the regulatory waters, overcome the shrill hyperbole from organizations more interested in shilling for industry and industrial agriculture than in clean water, and get about the business of protecting the quality of America’s surface waters.
Courtesy Center for Rural Affairs