Friends Applauds Clean Water Act Rule
On December 30, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized regulations to protect hundreds of thousands of tributaries, streams, wetlands and other waterways, Friends of the Chicago River applauds this vital action to safeguard our precious water assets.
The new rule redefines which waters of the United States are protected by the Clean Water Act. A previous rule, finalized in 2020 “was long sought by builders, oil and gas developers,” according to an Associated Press news story. “The new rule is built on a pre-2015 definition, but is more streamlined and includes updates to reflect court opinions, scientific understanding and decades of experience,” they wrote.
The EPA ruling states that “This final rule advances the objective of the Clean Water Act and ensures critical protections for the nation’s vital water resources, which support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth across the United States.”
“Protecting the Clean Water Act and its protections is vital,” said Margaret Frisbie, Friends’ executive director. “Over the last 50 years, the health of the Chicago-Calumet River System has been transformed because of it and we must make sure that the Clean Water Act and its provisions do not get sabotaged again at the expense of human health and wildlife.”
Arrowhead Lake in the Palos Preserves of southwest Cook County, December 2021.