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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.”
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor In August, the federal government declared the first-ever water shortage along the Colorado River as drought pushed its largest reservoir, Lake Mead, to record lows. Now, that shortage is threatening the power supply of 5.8 million homes and businesses and water levels at the nation’s second largest reservoir, Lake […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer The controversial Line 3, a pipeline expansion under construction in northern Minnesota that would transport one million barrels of tar sands per day, hasn’t begun operating yet, but is already causing harm. The line’s construction, coupled with drought, has created low water levels in Minnesota lakes where Indigenous Anishinaabe […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor In another significant blow to the Pebble Mine project in Alaska, the EPA has asked a federal court to allow Clean Water Act protections for parts of Bristol Bay, a body of water that stands to be decimated if the project continues. Environmental advocates and Alaska Native tribes hope […]
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