Obama Administration moves to protect drinking water for millions of AmericansSeptember 18th, 2013
Contact: Amy Kober, 503-708-1145
Washington, DC – American Rivers today strongly supported the Obama Administration for proposing a rule to restore protections to small streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act after those protections were eroded following two Supreme Court decisions.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 117 million Americans rely in whole or in part on public water systems fed by small streams – the same streams that were made more vulnerable to pollution and destruction following the confusing court decisions, unnecessarily narrow guidance, and pressure from polluters.
The proposed rule, which is now under review by the Office of Management and Budget, is based on a scientific synthesis report released today by the Environmental Protection Agency that clarifies and quantifies the connection between the health of small streams — regardless of size and frequency of flow — and wetlands to the health of larger rivers. The report builds on robust scientific evidence linking protection of small streams and wetlands to clean water, fish and wildlife, and flood control, and provides the foundation for the rulemaking.
Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers, made the following statement:
“Small streams and wetlands are essential to the health of our environment and communities, just as veins and arteries and tiny capillaries are essential to the health of our bodies. That is why, when Congress passed the Clean Water Act more than 40 years ago, it protected all of the nation’s waters.”
“We are pleased that the Obama Administration is finally taking this important step today toward protecting clean drinking water for millions of Americans. Restoring Clean Water Act safeguards for streams and wetlands, and the people who depend upon them, means our families and communities will enjoy safer drinking water, reduced flood damage, and healthier rivers for fishing and recreation.”