President praises EPA action to close Clean Water Act loophole

President George W. Bush applauded EPA Administrator Whitman's decision to move forward with pending regulations to protect the nation's wetlands.

April 17, 2001—In a statement made by his press secretary, President George W. Bush applauded EPA Administrator Whitman's decision to move forward with pending regulations to protect the nation's wetlands.

Congress passed the Clean Water Act with broad bipartisan support to protect the nation's wetlands, streams and waterways.

"A 1997 court decision opened up a loophole in the Clean Water Act that could have been used to jeopardize vital wetlands," he said. "This new rule will close that loophole, protecting an estimated 20,000 acres of wetlands and 150 miles of streams in the U.S."

The new rule will also provide regulatory certainty by clarifying the kinds of activities that the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers believe may result in harmful discharges into our nation's wetlands.

"Wetlands serve a vital function in our environment," he said. "They provide needed habitats for birds, fish, shellfish and a wide range of wildlife. They help to reduce flooding problems and serve to filter and clean bodies of water. This Administration will continue to take responsible steps to ensure that we can preserve these vital natural resources for future generations of Americans."

For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov.

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