Sportsmen and Women: Rolling Back Clean Water Act Will Harm Habitat - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Sportsmen and Women: Rolling Back Clean Water Act Will Harm Habitat

EPA undermines protections for wetlands and streams

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency today announced a final decision to redefine which waters are eligible for Clean Water Act protections, leaving important habitat for fish and waterfowl vulnerable to pollution and significant harm.

Speaking at the National Association of Home Builders conference, Administrator Andrew Wheeler said he would be rolling back the 2015 Clean Water rule.

“This announcement flies in the face of all the hunters and fishermen who have contacted the EPA saying they oppose this decision,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “These rollbacks undermine the intent of the Clean Water Act, which has a proven track record of protecting America’s waters and supporting healthy habitat.”

The new rule will leave roughly half of the nation’s wetlands and almost one out of five of its stream miles without federal protection from pollution. In drier western states, as many of 90 percent of stream miles will not be protected from being polluted.

Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972, creating a federal regulatory floor for pollution control across the country, as well as a partnership with states to address the many threats to our nation’s waters. This was important because states had not had the financial or political resources necessary to ensure clean water. Now the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are asserting that for all of the streams and wetlands they will no longer protect, states could step in, if they want, even as the agencies acknowledge that many states won’t have the resources to do so.

In a national poll, 93 percent of hunters and anglers say they believe the Clean Water Act has benefited the country. Additionally, 80 percent of sportsmen and women said Clean Water Act protections should apply to headwater streams and wetlands. Additionally, 92 percent believe that we should strengthen or maintain current clean water standards, not relax them.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 10:29 AM
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before blaming the EPA for the rollback, take a look at the Trump administration for the changes. Trump and his big business buddies ordered the EPA to repeal those rules so mining and other business didnt have to worry about what they discharge into the streams and the air. dont know how many have heard of the Kiskiminitis river here in western Pa., but when i was a kid it ran orange from mine drainage. no fish could live it those waters. today it is doing well and has become an attraction for fishing and supports canoeing and kayak businesses. my sportsmen's club has a poster on the wall that pledges to protect the water, wildlife, air, and such from being polluted. it would be a shame to see all the money and hard work it took to clean up this river just to have it polluted again. this is just one of the rivers and streams that could be ruined.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 09:36 AM
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Americans exposed to toxic chemicals in drinking water 'dramatically underestimated'

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 10:29 AM
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Yep it's all Trump's fault. Instead of rolling back federal protections which were redundant he should be establishing even more costly agencies of the same kind to oversee this whole thing.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 11:26 AM
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While environmental protection is critically important, far too many bloated bureaucracies now control all facets of our daily lives. Such bureaucracies left unchecked, tend to grow and build their power to levels that no branch of government can effectively control.

A little review of that power from time to time, is a good thing. In some cases, more than a little is warranted and long overdue.

Good case in point, are the current efforts at protecting ourselves from rain water run off. PA now joins other states in enacting EPA-mandated "rain taxes", based on the amount of impermeable surfaces that tend to collect rainfall and increase the amount of water collected in a short period of time during heavy rainfalls.

Our sportsmen's club was just assessed an annual "rain tax' levy of $2,500 per year by the township. Despite the fact that our 153 acres tends to absorb much of each rainfall, before that water accumulates into any of the half dozen small streams flowing across that property.

Most of that accumulation stems from the nearby mountain, not from our buildings, driveways and lots. One building and lot is next to about 40 acres of flat fields/woods, which absorb rainfall, before any of it ever gets near a stream.

The other building/lot area, goes into our two acre fish pond, before adding to the stream that feeds the pond. Doesn't matter, the fee is based on the square footage of impermeable surfaces. Even graveled areas are assessed the same as paved areas.

As an example, people have little idea of the amount of tax money being spent on agricultural stream fencing and other efforts, like taking land out of production, aimed at halting stream pollution all across the state.

I estimate it runs to multiple millions at present and will only continue to grow. Much of these efforts are good things, but like most government-mandated programs, will continue to grow in costs vs benefits, until every bureaucrat is satisfied.
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