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Why This Matters: The President claims we have crystal clean water — but this rule will make our lakes, rivers, streams, and coasts dirtier than ever. Administrator Wheeler of the EPA announced this rule at a meeting of the National Association of Manufacturers because special interests like big-ag, real estate developers and other industries wanted it gone. And the Trump Administration promised to repeal it from day one. The WOTUS rule finally — after years of uncertainty — brought small waterways like ponds, streams, and even drainage ditches under EPA’s protection because they eventually flow into larger waterways. The WOTUS rule was groundbreaking because it paved the way for controls of “non-point” sources of pollution, which have fouled groundwater, drinking water, and even major bodies of water like the Gulf of Mexico that has a massive dead zone caused by nutrient pollution from farms thousands of miles away. The protection of wetlands is more important now than ever – they are key to fighting the impacts of climate change in vulnerable areas near rivers and coasts. The Clean Water Act is significantly weaker today as a result of this rollback.
National Association of Manufacturers Lobbied for Repeal
According to The Hill, the National Association of Manufacturers has “fervently lobbied for WOTUS’s repeal. The gathered crowd included…top executives at Dominion Energy, The American Farm Bureau Association and the National Association of Home Builders, many of which gave statements at the event.”
Environmental Groups Plan To Sue
The Hill reported that the “EPA is misleading the public by claiming that this regulation simply repeals the 2015 Clean Water Rule,” said Kelly Foster, a senior attorney for the Waterkeeper Alliance. “The truth is that this is an illegal attempt to reinterpret the prior longstanding regulatory definition to eliminate anti-pollution requirements for rivers, streams, wetlands and other waters that have been in place since the 1970s.”
As California’s drought conditions are worsening, Nestle is pumping millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino forest. State water officials have drafted a cease-and-desist order to force the company to stop overpumping from Strawberry Creek, which provides drinking water for about 750,000 people.
The ice-out date for Maine’s Lake Auburn is now three weeks earlier than it was two centuries ago, the Portland Press Herald reports, and other lakes across New England show similar trends. Climate change is not good for ice, and that includes Maine’s lakes that freeze over every winter.
Why This Matters: A disrupted winter with lakes that “defrost” earlier has multiple knock-on effects for freshwater: in addition to harming fish in lakes, the resulting large cyanobacteria algae blooms that form can be harmful to human health.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Drought conditions cover 85% of Mexico as lakes and reservoirs dry up across the country. Mexico City is experiencing its worst drought in 30 years, and the reservoirs and aquifers are so depleted that some residents don’t have tap water. The capital city relies on water pumped in from […]
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