A recent executive order to review the Waters of the U.S. Clean Water Rule is one more thread being unraveled from the fabric of environmental protection laws to make way for unfettered development and resource extraction.
The Clean Water Rule was carefully constructed to solve previous problems in protecting bodies of water from pollution that would impact downstream waters used by cities and communities for drinking water and for the health. The rule carefully defines each kind of body of water (wetland to prairie bog, to small streams) and how to determine its contiguous relationships with the Waters of the U.S. (meaning those bodies we recognize as streams, rivers, and lakes to which it contributes water) and how each contributes to a larger body of water. See this Supreme Court Definition. rapanos_decision_2006
The Rule was highly scrutinized by thousands of scientists, members of the public, and congress before being implemented in 2015. **The Rule was instituted in light of climate change, i.e. drought or floods, that is impacting municipal drinking sources and will intensify over time. IT IS A LONG TERM SAFETY MEASURE THAT GUARANTEES PROTECTION OF OUR MOST BASIC NEED: WATER.
Contact your state representatives to prevent the unraveling of the rule for short teem economic gains and campaign promises. Work with them to make sure we do not lose an important protection of our watersheds and drinking water. Finally, do you know your watershed? If not, go here to find it.