The EPA’s new rule discards science, ignores importance of wetlands and tributaries

Environmental Health News discusses how the EPA’s new rule discards science, ignores importance of wetlands and tributaries. No matter how the EPA fiddles with the numbers, the new Clean Water Act rule is a license to pollute—a recipe for dirty water.

Water, water everywhere and hardly a drop is being protected by the Trump Administration.

In its latest act of abdication, the Environmental Protection Agency published its Navigable Waters Protection Rule in the Federal Register on April 21. The rule is scheduled to go into effect June 22, completing the elimination of the Obama Administration’s Waters of the U.S. Rule.

The original rule was designed to protect the majority of America’s water based on hydrologic science, which clearly shows that water flows on many more surface and subsurface paths than just rivers and other obvious waterways. These many pathways in turn connect wetlands and tributaries with large lakes and wide rivers. Indeed, a 2015 EPA report that drew upon 1,200 peer-review studies found that all tributaries, even intermittent and ephemeral streams “are physically, chemically, and biologically connected to downstream rivers.”

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