The Clean Water Act of 1972 (CWA) exemplifies environmentally responsible lawmaking. The CWA was enacted to protect the waters of the United States by regulating discharged pollutants and setting water quality standards. The CWA applies to most lakes, rivers, streams, and–historically–wetlands. This immensely important law has done so much for American waterways, such as laying the foundations for restoration projects all throughout the country and increasing protections of our water that we drink and enjoy.
Yet, this law and its benefits are being jeopardized by the Trump administration. While the scope of the CWA has undergone several major court cases and modification, the current threat would remove protections from “60 percent of U.S. stream miles and 20 million acres of wetlands without the protection of the Clean Water Act, a certain tragedy for fish and wildlife, hunting and fishing, and clean water“. The proposed rule change would modify the definition of the “waters of the United States,” to “encompass relatively permanent flowing and standing waterbodies that are traditional navigable waters in their own right or that have a specific connection to traditional navigable waters, as well as wetlands abutting or having a direct hydrologic surface connection to those waters,” according to the EPA.
This proposed modification, while it does not appear to be overly destructive, would have potentially devastating consequences throughout the Country. Headwaters, that form and feed larger streams and rivers, need protections. The Trump administration is attempting to remove these protections and continue its agenda of prioritizing business interests over common sense environmental protections–yes, again.
To submit a comment, click on this link. After you submit a comment, scroll down on that link for more in-depth information, analysis, and consequences. The deadline to submit comments is tomorrow, Monday, April 15th. The threat is real, and urgency is of the upmost importance. If you cherish clean waters and the activities that are made possible as a result, show your support by sending a comment!
This article was written by Flylords’ Team Member, Will Poston.