It’s another call to action time from the NRDC – if you can, take a few minutes to sign the letter being sent to the EPA & the Army Corps of Engineers.
Recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Bush administration have created doubt about whether certain types of water bodies are protected by the Clean Water Act, the nation’s landmark water pollution law. As a result, many of America’s smaller streams and the wetlands that neighbor them are not being adequately protected under the act’s pollution control programs. The same is true of so-called “isolated” water bodies — those that don’t have a clear surface connection to some other water.
The United States contains about 20 million acres of these isolated wetlands and nearly two million miles of streams that do not flow year-round. The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have released a seriously flawed “guidance” document for determining which of these bodies of water will be protected. For countless numbers of these waters, trying to demonstrate that the Clean Water Act still protects them will be difficult. Even if communities rely on one of these smaller water bodies for drinking water, flood control, fishing or recreation, proving that the particular water body is “significant” enough to warrant protection will still likely require a resource-intensive, confusing and subjective process. This approach ignores the basic scientific fact that water bodies are parts of an interdependent web.
The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are accepting public comments on the guidance document through January 21st. Sign your name to the letter!