EARTHWORKS

All our water should be clean. Thank the EPA for acting to protect our drinking water.

Alan Septoff's avatar
By Alan Septoff

June 20, 2011

EPA map of Percentage of Surface Drinking Water from Intermittent, Ephemeral, and Headwater Streams
Percentage of Surface Drinking Water from Intermittent, Ephemeral, and Headwater Streams. Source: U.S. EPA

Wrongheaded interpretations of two confusing U.S. Supreme Court cases have put more than 20 million acres of wetlands and almost 60 percent of our streams at risk of losing Clean Water Act protections.

The EPA estimates that more than 117 million Americans' drinking water is supplied in whole or part by waters vulnerable to pollution thanks to the current confusion.

To fix things, the Environmental Protection Agency is clarifying which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act.

The new guidelines would reaffirm protection for critical waters -- including wetlands, and smaller streams, including those that flow part of the year.

Protecting wetlands and small streams is important for fish and wildlife habitat, reducing the frequency and intensity of floods, filtering pollutants, as well as supplying drinking waters to American families.

These protections are especially important because they would affect mine waste disposal, the largest source of toxic pollution in the U.S.  

Naturally, the EPA is under attack from industries that would affected by these new guidelines including the mining industry. 

That's why we're asking for your help: click here to drop the EPA a line of thanks.

We spank 'em when they're wrong -- let's thank 'em when they're right.

 

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Tagged with: waters of the u.s., take action, clean water act

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