The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers are proposing to significantly narrow the scope of protections for our nation’s waters. The proposal would replace a positive, scientifically-supported 2015 rule (the Clean Water Rule) designed to clarify the scope of Clean Water Act protections, which includes protections for headwaters, intermittent and ephemeral streams, and wetlands. The proposed rule would substantially weaken the Clean Water Act, one of the Nation’s most effective natural resource laws.
Please take a moment to submit a comment to the EPA to tell them they should withdraw their latest rule proposal. A suggested comment template is shared below. Submit your comments by going to this link and clicking the “Comment Now!” button.
Comments must be submitted before 5 pm on Monday, April 15th.
Re: Revised Definition of “Waters of the United States,” Docket ID No. EPA-HW-OW-2018-0149
Administrator Wheeler and Assistant Secretary James:
I am opposed to the proposed rule because it fails to adequately protect streams and wetlands. Much is at stake for the health of our Nation’s waters. The proposed rule represents a drastic roll-back in Federal protections under a long list of important Clean Water Act programs. It removes from protection many intermittent (seasonal) streams, all ephemeral (rain-dependent) waters, and many wetlands with important connections to nearby rivers, lakes and streams.
[Insert why you care about local streams, rivers, wetlands and wildlife]
The proposed replacement ignores sound science that tells us streams and wetlands are connected to the larger water bodies downstream. This new proposal would remove protections for 51% of the wetland areas remaining in the continental U.S. It would also remove protections from at least 18% of all streams (those that are classified as ephemeral) and potentially many more stream miles – some of the 52% streams that are classified as intermittent. Only the 30% of all stream miles that are perennial are assured of being protected under this proposal.
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. Any new rule must be grounded on a robust, inclusive, transparent, science-based, and legally sound rulemaking process and must clearly protect all streams, floodplain wetlands, and non-floodplain wetlands that are ecologically connected to downstream waters, in accordance with the Clean Water Act.
I oppose the Environmental Protection Agency and Corps of Engineers proposal to replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule with a new rule that will dramatically roll back the scope of the Clean Water Act. These rollbacks threaten the waters we depend on. I urge the Administration to withdraw this proposal immediately.
Sincerely, [Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]