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Clean Water Act in Limbo, Again!

Posted: 10/19/2015
by Nathan Fey

We were not surprised, but we were bummed out, to hear that a court put on hold the incredibly important clarification of the Clean Water Act known as the Waters of the United States rule. We've been supporting the new rule because its protections are critical for paddlers as well as for drinking water supplies around the country.

Here are the gnarly details: The US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit granted a temporary stay against the new rule from the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA. The stay is the latest of several attempts to derail many Obama administration environmental policies.

The new rule is a common sense clarification on which bodies of water are governed by the Clean Water Act. As our board member and legendary paddler Kent Ford said in an article in his hometown paper back in June:

“The new rule will help communities by setting clear standards by which they can keep their rivers and streams clean. The new rule maintains the public-health standards that have kept our rivers and streams relatively healthy, and for those that have been polluted, it provides the force of law for clean-up efforts.”

Many of our partner groups across the country have spoken up, saying that the new rule is critical for protecting the smaller streams, wetlands and water bodies that feed into many of our bigger rivers, and also for providing regulatory certainty in a very unclear regulatory environment.

Defenders of the rule will be back in court, making these same strong arguments, that we sure hope will carry the day when the fight makes it to the Supreme Court.

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Clean Water Act
American Whitewater's advocacy to protect water quality.