These water bodies serve critical functions. Notably, more than 117 million Americans receive drinking water from public systems that draw supply from headwater, seasonal, or rain-dependent streams. Wetlands cover roughly 110 million acres in the continental United States, filtering pollution from contaminated runoff and replenishing groundwater. An acre of wetlands can also store upwards of one million gallons of floodwater (a recent study even estimated that wetlands prevented $625 million in property damage from flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012). Wetlands and small streams also provide essential fish and wildlife habitat, supporting a robust outdoor recreation economy.
It’s a big deal for federal law to protect a body of water. It means all sorts of pollution prevention, control, and cleanup programs kick in. Wastewater dischargers and sewage plants can’t dump into such waters without pollution-limiting permits; facilities storing a lot of oil near covered waters must develop oil spill prevention and response protocols; and states must plan and prepare for the cleanup of protected waters that don’t meet state water-quality standards. Industrial and commercial developers ordinarily need approval before filling in waters like wetlands and sometimes must mitigate their impact by creating, preserving, or enhancing other water resources; the act also prohibits the discharge of “any radiological, chemical, or biological warfare agent, any high-level radioactive waste, or any medical waste” into covered waters. And entities disposing of sewage sludge that could pollute such waters must abide by pollution control standards.After the Clean Water Rule, American families could be more confident that the creeks, ponds, and marshes they use for swimming and fishing — and depend on for drinking water — would not be recklessly polluted and would be cleaned up if they became contaminated.
Be sure to give love (claps) when you read the full article. It’s really pathetic that citizens of the USA would allow any meddling with the clean water regulations. It’s lemming behavior.