EPA PLANS TO ROLL BACK WATER PROTECTIONS DESPITE CLIMATE CHANGE WARNINGS

This article discusses how EPA intends to ignore science and roll back protections for American waterways.

WHILE ONE BRANCH of the U.S. government issued a report last week outlining the grave threats posed by climate change, another branch was preparing a rollback of water protections that will further exacerbate some of the climate-related problems laid out in the report.

“Water security in the United States is increasingly in jeopardy” warn the authors of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. Issued the day after Thanksgiving, the 1,656-page report was written by a team of more than 300 experts from the government and the private sector, and looks at the wide-ranging impacts of climate change already underway, including its effects on air quality, forests, coasts, transportation, and agriculture.

The report details the role that climate change, including increasing temperatures and more variable precipitation, has played in water quality crises across the country, such as outbreaks of harmful algae in Lake Erie, the reductions of the Pacific salmon population in the Northwest, and droughts in California. In many parts of the country, particularly the Southwest, groundwater has been seriously depleted, causing some rivers and streams to run dry for part of the year.

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