Streams and Rivers Left Vulnerable to Pollution Under New “Clean Water Rule”

Jun 9, 2015 by


The new Clean Water Rule, issued by the US EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers, reduces the agencies’ jurisdiction to protect waters that have previously been covered by the Clean Water Act since the 1970s. The rule redefines what exactly constitutes the Waters of the US, exempting streams and rivers and allowing these waters to be filled with toxic coal ash and other waste. The rule also grants immunity to industrial-scale livestock facilities and includes an exclusion that allows industries to escape treatment requirements by impounding waters of the United States and claiming the impoundment is a waste treatment system, or by discharging wastes into wetlands.

“From the smallest tributary, to the mightiest river, to our lakes, bays and ocean, clean water connects us to many valuable resources. Maintaining legal protection is essential for safeguarding public health and the environment, including drinking water supplies, recreation, and fisheries,” stated Chris Wilke, Puget Soundkeeper in Seattle, WA. “The narrowing of jurisdiction proposed by the EPA and the Corps is not supported by sound science or legal precedent.”

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“Black and Blue: Santa Barbara Oil Spill Takes Another Toll on California,” by Kira Redmond for Huffington Post

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