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EPA Proposing to Weaken State’s Ability to Protect Clean Water and Recreation

Posted: 10/15/2019
By: Evan Stafford

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing new regulations that would weaken the ability of states to protect clean water at hydropower dams and other federally-licensed energy projects. Under the Clean Water Act, states must certify that these projects comply with state water quality standards before they can receive a 30-50 year federal license. The proposed rules would make it virtually impossible for the states to conduct a meaningful review of the impact of these projects on environmental quality including recreation.

Last month, American Whitewater Legal Director (also Northeast Stewardship Director) Bob Nasdor was in Washington DC to brief congressional staff on these new regulations and their potential effect on rivers that are impacted by hydropower dams. We are also leading efforts to mobilize opposition among states and environmental groups against the EPA's assault on water quality.

For American Whitewater, these changes would hamstring our ability to restore flows to dewatered river sections, ensure access for boating, and secure scheduled boating releases like the ones we enjoy on so many rivers across the country, such as the Beaver and Moose in New York, the Gauley in West Virginia, the Tallulah in Georgia, and the North Fork Feather in California. To take action on this issue, go here and let the EPA know that you do not agree with this rule change and that taking away state's rights to protect their water quality is unacceptable. Comments are due October 21, 2019. 

Bob Nasdor

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Comments on Updating Regulations on Water Quality Certification 10/19/19 (10/19/2019)

Comments to EPA proposed rule that would weaken the role of the states to protect water quality in federally permitted energy projects

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