NRDC urges Congress to support 'Waters of the U.S.' rule to protect water supplies

Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, has urged Congress to support the proposed new federal Clean Water Rule, noting, "The fate of nearly two million miles of streams and tens of millions of acres of wetlands hangs in the balance."

WASHINGTON, DC, Deb. 3, 2015 -- Today, Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, urged Congress to support the proposed new federal Clean Water Rule (CWR), noting, "The fate of nearly two million miles of streams and tens of millions of acres of wetlands hangs in the balance."

In a letter to the leaders of two committees scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday, Feb. 4, on the proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Suh said, "It is nearly impossible to overstate the importance of the Clean Water Rule."

She noted that the small streams covered by the rule help supply the drinking water for one in three American (see "CWR to help communities, municipalities receive safe drinking water"). "However," she said, "countless feeder streams, wetlands and other waters today lack guaranteed federal protection from pollution and destruction."

EPA and the Corps proposed the rule last year, after extensive scientific study, to close a loophole in the Clean Water Act (see "EPA, Corps propose CWR to clarify protection for U.S. waterways"). The agencies are now working to finalize the rule after an extended public comment period, during which they received more than 800,000 comments in support of the proposal (see "Thousands supporting clean water submit comments on CWR definition"). Some in Congress, however, want to block the rule.

To access a full text of the letter, click here.

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