EPA Is Asking Which Water Quality Rules To Cut: Tell Them None

posted May 4, 2017
by Kevin Colburn

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The EPA is asking the public which regulations they should repeal, replace, or modify. They were required to ask this question by a recent Executive Order. Here at American Whitewater we have a pretty simple response to which water quality regulations should be cut: "None." 

The EPA is responsible for keeping our rivers clean enough to support safe river recreation in large part through working with the states to implement the Clean Water Act. As paddlers know too well, many rivers are barely safe and functioning under the existing rules, and weakening the rules would allow pollution to cross critical public health and ecological thresholds.  

In our letter to the EPA we point out that watersports depend on safe and clean surface water, and account for 1,234,876 jobs and almost $1.4 Billion in annual retail sales. Rolling back water quality protections would erode these sustainable and often rural economic benefits. As they consider potential jobs added by polluters if rules are lifted, they must also consider jobs lost by those dependent on clean water.

We encourage paddlers to check out the EPA's brief request for public comments, and Submit A Comment of your own by May 15th. Only have a minute? Consider copying this statement into a comment:

"Regulations relating to water quality should not be repealed, replaced, or modified in any way that weakens their protections for public health and water quality. Specifically, do not repeal, replace, or modify, at a minimum but not exclusively, the Clean Water Rule (80 FR 37054, 40 C.F.R. § 230.3) and National Water Quality Standards (40 C.F.R § 131)."

Got an extra minute or two? Let the EPA know why clean water matters to you, and if it affects jobs in your household, your community or the places you travel.