26 Mar The Clean Water Act Relies on You
The Trump administration is pushing for changes that will severely damage the Clean Water Act. The proposed changes would remove some tributaries, groundwater, wetlands, temporal streams, and other waterways from the definition of “Waters of the United States”, exposing them to hazardous pollution threats. Excluding these waters from the Clean Water Act means they lose federal protection and could become vulnerable to toxic chemicals, sewage, trash and other pollutants.
This change will harm nearly one of every five streams nationwide, over half of all remaining wetlands nationwide, and all groundwater (Earth Justice, 2019). More than one third of the U.S. total population, 117 million people, get some or all of their drinking water from public drinking water systems that could lose their federal protection and become vulnerable to pollution because of the changes to the Clean Water Act. (Environmental Integrity Project, 2018)
“By drastically reducing the waters protected, it will cause untold damage to people wildlife, and the country as a whole.” – Waterkeeper® Alliance
So, what does this mean for our area? The potential changes to the Clean Water Act would remove federal protection from 34,000 acres of wetlands on the Eastern Shore (Environmental Integrity Project, 2018). That means wetlands area, almost the size of DC, will lose protection it desperately needs from runoff pollution.
Many of the impacts from this change are unknown. Not all the rivers and tributaries that could be harmed are known, and there could very well be a loss of protection in our Anacostia watershed. Nevertheless, rivers and tributaries do not stop at a state borders. What happens upstream from us also affects our watershed. Pollution causes hazardous waterways. Let’s look out for all U.S. waters together.
Please join Anacostia Riverkeeper® and the Waterkeeper® Alliance in fighting for the heart of the Clean Water Act by filling a comment here by April 15th opposing this rule. #SavetheCleanWaterAct