EPA to Impose Stricter Pollution Regulations for Public Waters

[tweetmeme]The Obama Administration recently announced that it will impose stricter pollution regulation for millions of acres of wetlands, and tens of thousands of miles of streams, to prevent the dumping of mining waste and discharge of industrial pollutants into waters that feed swimming holes and drinking water supplies. Questions regarding which streams and wetlands qualify for protection under the Clean Water Act have been in dispute for years.

EPA Administrator Lisa. P Jackson says that while the new rules will expand the waterways that fall under federal protection, it is not a massive increase. The policy change will likely affect tributaries that flow into bodies like the Chesapeake Bay. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md, the chair of the water and wildlife subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, says the proposed guidance is intended to address the Supreme Court’s concerns in a way that will protect waters that are important to fish and wildlife habitats, flood protection, and drinking water. Once finalized, the new regulations will apply federal water quality standards to a variety of waterways, including the headwaters of lakes, as well as rivers and intermittent streams.

Some groups, including livestock owners and home builders, have argued that the new regulations would impose an economic burden. The Obama Administration will accept comments on its proposed guidance for 60 days before drafting binding rules.

read more: Washington Post

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