Proposed Rule Will Protect Drinking Water for 117 Million Americans
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Virginia Cramer, 804-225-9113 x 102
Washington, D.C.—Today the Obama administration proposed a new rule to clarify which waters of the United States are protected under the Clean Water Act. For years, confusing Supreme Court rulings and agency guidance have left our country's small streams and wetlands at risk of pollution. The new rule will finally restore protections, as originally intended, to almost all of the nation's fresh waters – ensuring safe drinking water for 117 million Americans.
In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune issued the following statement:
"The Sierra Club applauds the Obama administration for this effort to restore a common-sense approach to protecting our nation's lakes, rivers and streams. Clean water is an undeniable necessity for the health of our families, our environment, and our economy—not to mention our enjoyment. And as the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have recognized with this rule, ensuring the protection of water bodies upstream is vital to keeping pollution out of our waters downstream.
"For too long, dirty fossil fuel companies and land developers have exploited the uncertainty over which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act to pollute our lakes, rivers and streams. As a result, the drinking water sources for more than a third of all Americans have been put at risk.
"To protect Americans' drinking water, health, and recreation opportunities we must protect all of America's wetlands and waterways. Today's rule will help make that possible. We look forward to a robust public comment period and to seeing a strong rule finalized quickly.”