Clean Water Rule Unraveled

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially proposed today to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule, established under President Obama in 2015. This action begins a process of unraveling years of work to protect some of the most critical streams and wetlands in our country. The agency is giving Americans only 30 days to weigh in on a rule that took years to craft.   

The Clean Water Rule was a scientifically sound set of regulations that made clear America’s headwater streams would be protected for water quality under the federal Clean Water Act. The rule also would have reaffirmed exemptions in existing law for landowners and agricultural operations. It was strongly supported by the vast majority of Americans who commented on it during its multi-year development process.. 

In contrast, today's action to rescind the rule jeopardizes 60 percent of stream miles in the U.S., those small tributaries (sometimes ephemeral) to larger rivers which provide important habitat for fish and wildlife and deliver clean water to some of our most treasured fishing grounds. 

[STAND UP FOR CLEAN WATER]

But fishing isn't the only thing at stake. This move impacts the sources of drinking water for 117 million people. That's one in three Americans whose drinking water originates in a stream that may no longer be protected.

Our access to clean water in this country is one of the things that sets us apart from many nations in the world. And it is up to us to protect the places that supply high quality water. 

There's no doubt the Clean Water Rule has created much division. Trout Unlimited has seen that first-hand in working with many of our partners in agriculture. We understand and agree with the importance of getting this rule right, and support the exemptions granted to the ag community. 

[STAND UP FOR CLEAN WATER]

But as an organization that works daily to fix polluted streams and rivers -- and the fisheries such pollution has degraded or ruined -- we know too well how hard and expensive it is to fix something rather than protect it in the first place. 

"Clean water is not a political issue," said Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited. "It is a basic right of every American. Water runs downhill and gravity works cheap, and never takes a day off. We all live downstream. To be effective, the Clean Water Act must be able to control pollution at its source, upstream in the headwaters and wetlands that flow downstream through communities to our major lakes, rivers, and bays. EPA’s action places the health of 60 percent of the stream miles in the U.S. at risk. Trout Unlimited intends to work with our hundreds of thousands of members and supporters to reverse course on this misguided direction."

The Clean Water Rule is a foundational American law, one meant to protect the health of our nation's citizens. It also helps ensure that our remaining cold water habitat can provide good habitat and fishing opportunity. Time is short: Let's get to work.

[STAND UP FOR CLEAN WATER]

 

Comments

 
said on Friday, June 30th, 2017

I want to hear the other side of thei issue. Everyone is for clean water. Your appeal would have more integrity if you openly,without bias, presented both sides. 

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said on Friday, June 30th, 2017

Agreed. Too many cases of gross abuse of this law by the government and Army Corp of Engineers. Ask the farmer who was fined 3 million dollars for building a small pond on his own property. There needs to be some common sense injected into this from everyone including TU. Especially TU. 

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said on Friday, June 30th, 2017

There can be no arguing that clean water must be maintained and restored, but from what I have read there seems to be the usual radical over reaching in the Obama order.  I've read that intermittant drainage ditches have been classified as rivers as well as many other things that cause this bill to be extreme.  The solution, perhaps is to get a good CLEAN legislation on CLEAN water.                          

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said on Friday, June 30th, 2017

I am disturbed that TU rarely presents the whole story on environmental issues. We are all for clean air and water but in this case the EPA massively overreached it's authority and imposed burdensome and costly regulations on land uses that affected ditches and puddles. The cancellation of this regulation was entirely appropriate. I am confident an effective and lawful regulation will replace it.

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said on Friday, June 30th, 2017

I am disturbed that TU rarely presents the whole story on environmental issues. We are all for clean air and water but in this case the EPA massively overreached it's authority and imposed burdensome and costly regulations on land uses that affected ditches and puddles. The cancellation of this regulation was entirely appropriate. I am confident an effective and lawful regulation will replace it.

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said on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

I'm disturbed that you are so woefully ignorant and uninformed. Stop getting you pretend facts from Fox News. 

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said on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Do you have anything of substance to add to the discussion, or are you just here to boost your fragile ego by leveling personal attacks on those you disagree with?

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said on Friday, June 30th, 2017
  1. enjoy TU and do recognize the hard and dedicated work this organization produces but I agree that both sides would be nice to have at hand. I feel part of the problem with our country as a whole is that we have a tendency not to tell the entire story. I am for clean water not just for the habitat including trout but also clean water for now and the future but when an organization would like us to write or speak with our representatives in Washington DC without hearing both sides, it seems like “the end of the world” and in this case “clean water” scenario is presented. I think TU can up their game by presenting both sides and then let the “people speak”.Both in my undergraduate and graduate school in my environmental and wildlife management classes I had the opportunity to partake in my profs always would say “anytime you try and manage what the good Lord gave us we cannot duplicate what is given to us. For our ability to management this awesome world we need to figure out how to leave as little of a foot print as possible. There is no way we as humans cannot screw the environment up as long as we are involved but make it your first priority to screw it up as little as possible for the present and the future”. In my 58 years of life and being an outdoors individual I believe this concept.

I am for contacting my representative but I would also like at least a brief “other side of the story”. Or to explain what Mr. Obama’s passage of this law did and did not do for our clean water laws.

Thanks for listening

Pat in Omaha Nebraska

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said on Monday, July 3rd, 2017

I'm having a hard time deciding where I stand on this as the article didn't really unravel anything. I have no clearer picture of what the proposed action really actually does. There are no real specific examples of what impacts this action will have. Yes, I could do some more research, but I clicked on the story based on the headline and learned nothing helpful from doing so. 

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said on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

I find it absolutley mind numbing and depressing that TU members can question Trout Unlimiteds position on the Clean Water Act and the Clean Water Initiative by the Obama Administration.

This is the same mentalitity that put a pathological liar and ignorant buffoon in the White House. If you can't support clean air and clean water and protection of the environment, why are you members of TU? 

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said on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

I find it absolutely mind numbing and depressing that you have nothing of substance to contribute to the discussion and that you are clearly far more interested in a forum for your political views than you are in the issues.

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said on Sunday, July 9th, 2017

I am very sure that we all don't want private citizens mistreated by the EPA or any other government agency like in the example shared in earlier posting of ditch classified as a river and also sure those types of scenarios are few and far between.

We also need to acknowledge the importance of the Clean Water Act, the positive  impact to our fisheries over the last 40 plus years and the thousands of miles of stream habitat created for trout and other animals.  I would go as far to say the Act is the heart and soul of TU.

In Vermont before the Clean Water Act, the two largest rivers the Winooski and Lamoille were not pleasant streams to swim or wade in and now they are streams a person can get lost in riparian beauty.  

Chris, please do not stop spreading message of conservation vigilance.

 

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