EPA Administrator McCarthy Gives an Overview of EPA’s Clean Water Act Rule Proposal


TODAY, EPA IS TAKING ACTION TO KEEP AMERICA’S
WATERS CLEAN AND HEALTHY. FOR MORE THAN FOUR DECADES, THE CLEAN WATER
ACT HAS SAFEGUARDED OUR RIVERS, LAKES, WETLANDS, AND COASTAL WATERS.
BUT OVER THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS, TWO COMPLICATED COURT DECISIONS HAVE TANGLED UP IMPLEMENTATION
OF THE LAW. IT’S BEEN INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE
WHAT IS AND WHAT ISN’T PROTECTED—AND THAT’S PUT WETLANDS, STREAMS, AND OTHER WATER BODIES
AT RISK. THESE PRISTINE PLACES ARE CRITICAL FOR SAFE
DRINKING WATER. BUT YOU KNOW IT’S MORE THAN THAT. IT’S ABOUT PROTECTING OUR NATURAL RESOURCES.
IT’S ABOUT UNSPOILED PLACES TO FISH, HUNT AND SWIM — FOR THIS GENERATION AND BEYOND. EVERY SECTOR IN OUR ECONOMY DEPENDS ON WATER…FROM
FARMS THAT PRODUCE OUR FOOD, FUEL AND FIBER … TO MANUFACTURERS WHO MAKE EVERYTHING FROM
OUR CARS TO OUR COMPUTERS … AS WELL AS THE ENERGY INDUSTRY THAT GENERATES AFFORDABLE
POWER FOR OUR HOMES AND OUR BUSINESSES. THE RULE WE’RE RELEASING TODAY WAS DEVELOPED
WITH THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, WITH INPUT FROM INDUSTRIES ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
USING THE BEST AVAILABLE SCIENCE, WE CAN IDENTIFY AND PROTECT INTERCONNECTED WETLANDS AND STREAMS
THAT ARE VITAL TO HEALTHY WATERS AND VITAL TO HEALTHY COMMUNITIES DOWNSTREAM.
TO BE CLEAR: OUR PROPOSAL DOES NOT ADD TO OR EXPAND THE SCOPE OF WATERS HISTORICALLY
PROTECTED UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT. IT CLARIFIES WHICH WATERS ARE PROTECTED AND
WHICH WATERS ARE NOT. IT CUTS RED TAPE, IT GIVES CERTAINTY TO BUSINESS,
AND IT CLEARS THE WAY FOR THE CLEAN WATER ACT TO DO ITS JOB, SO FUTURE GENERATIONS CAN
CONTINUE TO ENJOY THESE PRECIOUS PLACES. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Comments 7

  • Administrator Gina McCarthy, about our proposed rule for the Clean Water Act: “It’s about protecting unspoiled places to hunt, fish, and swim – for this generation and beyond.” #USwaters

  • History is not going to look kindly upon the modern progressive.  Unless of course THEY write the textbooks.  Bill Ayers is laughing at all of us…

  • So in simple terms, what waters are excluded?

  • It is crucial to protect our natural waters and resources.  As a health environmental educator and naturopath who tests water and provides bio chemistry testing. Our waters are less safe and often filled with contaminants – toxins which contribute to many root cause to diseases. Healthy Clean Water is crucial for life and everything living. Prevention is the key.   Please make this a priority.

  • Well if we don't let the EPA control every drop of rainwater and every patch of land where rain might fall; they're not happy with their "restrictions".

    They need unlimited access to fine anyone who might affect anywhere that a drop fo rain might fall; for our own good.

    Why won't we give all control over the US to them?  They're only asking for absolute power over all land and all land usage… they'll protect us if only we give them power over everything without limit.

    They promise.

  • Obviously, upstream waters flow downstream into 'navigable' waters which flow over public land.   This while, upstream waters flow, trickle and seep mostly over private lands.   These 'clarified' regulations will certainly impact the rights of private property.  The CWA still treats these upstream waters as if they were navigable and therefore 'publicly owned'.   The CWA needs to recognize that the scope of federal authority over private lands which happen to have air or water flowing or seeping across them is limited to protecting the downstream water-quality or downwind air-quality.  We can have clean water AND recognize property rights. 

        Because the CWA was written to protect "navigable waters" (waters over Public Trust Lands), each expanded interpretation of the jurisdictional scope beyond navigable waters expands EPA jurisdiction over private property.  Although it is understandable that protecting downstream public property by necessity requires initiatives upstream, the scope of jurisdiction under the CWA should recognize the distinction between 'regulating' and protecting' public waters and preventing waters flowing over private property from damaging downstream public property.  The Clean Air Act provides such regulatory balance, this jurisdictional expansion under the Clean Water Act seeks to ignore private property and the associated property rights.  
        What is needed with the EPA's definition for 'Waters of the United States' is clear recognition that the scope of EPA authority and discretion does not extend beyond that necessary to protect the quality of downstream waters.  The CWA roles and responsibilities upstream should be focused on education and support support rather than permitting-fees and regulatory fines.    
     

  • EPA ,,MCCARTY GIVE US BRAKE , EPA DONT HAVE ANY THING GOOD FOR MAN KIND .SO WAKE UP AND DO SOME THING GOOD ,LEAVE EPA,

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