Friday, March 28, 2014

Federal Rule Will Clarify Nation’s Streams and Wetlands and Protect the Susquehanna River

For Immediate Release:

For more information contact
Thomas Au, Conservation Chair
Sierra Club PA Chapter

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency and US Army Corps of Engineers proposed a new federal rule that would protect streams and wetlands from pollution throughout the US, including those in the Susquehanna River basin. The rule will help to protect the drinking water for millions of Americans, preserve fish and wildlife habitat, and reduce the risk of flooding.

The Sierra Club applauds the Obama administration for this effort to restore a common-sense approach to protecting our nation's lakes, rivers and streams. Clean water is an undeniable necessity for the health of our families, our environment, and our economy—not to mention our enjoyment. The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have recognized that ensuring the protection of water bodies upstream is vital to keeping pollution out of our waters downstream.

To protect Americans' drinking water, health, and recreation opportunities, Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972. But, due to conflicting Supreme Court decisions during the past decade, there has been confusion over which streams and wetlands are covered, undermining efforts to protect streams which feed into the public drinking water systems.

“With this rule, everyone—including those wishing to develop in and around these waters—will have a clearer picture of what they can and can’t do under the law,” says Thomas Au, Conservation Chair for the Pennsylvania Sierra Club. "The rule will help everyone comply with the Clean Water Act."

The proposed rule, subject to public comment, would make clear which "waters" will be covered by the Act’s pollution prevention and cleanup programs and protect those waters that have important effects on downstream creeks and the Susquehanna River.  "Today's rule will implement the goals of the Clean Water Act.  We look forward to seeing a strong rule finalized quickly," stated Mr. Au.


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