Speak up for Clean Water until September 27th

Submit Your Comment by September 27, 2017

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is working to roll back the Clean Water Act. The current administration is rushing through a repeal of the Clean Water Rule. Please submit your public comment to stop it. It’s critical for your voice to be heard in D.C. today. The proposal has been published in the federal register.

Submit your online comment to the Federal eRulemaking Portal to STOP THE REPEAL of the Clean Water Rule on or before Wednesday, September 27, 11:59pm EST.

Please speak up – send a message to the EPA today. Tell Administrator Pruitt: Hands off our water.

We’ve provided a sample public comment letter. We encourage you to add your own description of the value of clean water.hrwc-clean-water-rule-drink

SAMPLE PUBLIC COMMENT

RE: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0203

Dear Administrator Pruitt:

The last thing we should do is weaken protections for clean water. I oppose the proposed repeal of the Clean Water Rule. Let the courts do their jobs and review the 2015 rulemaking.

This roll-back is dangerous. Clean water is the backbone of healthy communities and essential to a strong economy. Repealing this commonsense safeguard puts all of that at risk. The proposed repeal will remove Clean Water Act protections for the streams that feed the drinking water sources for more than 1 in 3 Americans. It will endanger 20 million acres of wetlands that provide habitat for wildlife throughout the nation. It could allow the pollution and destruction of the water resources small businesses like craft breweries and outdoor recreation companies rely on. Moreover, property values would be negatively impacted.

Repealing the Clean Water Rule is shortsighted and flies in the face of public opinion. More than 800,000 Americans supported the Clean Water Rule when it was proposed. It is grounded in science and the law. It is an essential tool to help us to get to goal of ensuring all of our waters are swimmable, fishable, and drinkable.

[Include your own thoughtful, compelling comment of how clean water is important to you, such as 85% of the City of Ann Arbor’s drinking water comes from the Huron River system which includes wetlands and small streams, or A healthy river system provides countless benefits to the people in its communities: flood protection, recreation, wildlife ]

Please stop the repeal process and get back to EPA’s mission – protecting human health and the environment.

Thank you for considering my concerns.

Sincerely,

[your name]

Huron River watershed, Michigan

Secretary Scott Pruitt and the Environmental Protection Agency need to receive your emailed comments by Wednesday, September 27, 2017 to the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

Submit your comment online here. Confirm that you are commenting on Definition of Waters of United States – Recodification of Pre-Existing Rules.

hrwc-clean-water-rule-at-riskHow would Michigan be affected?

In theory, Michigan would be less impacted because we have our own statute on wetland regulation that we work from.

While Michigan has clear specifications of what wetlands are regulated (500 feet and 1,000 feet from a contiguous waterbody), Public Act 98, enacted in 2013, added a few provisions regarding “contiguous” that allow for that general rule to be challenged. Specifically, there is now an exclusion for areas that become contiguous to a waterbody created as a result of commercial excavation for sand, gravel or mineral mining – they are no longer subject to regulation solely because it is contiguous to the created waterbody. In addition, there is a provision that states “a wetland is not contiguous to the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, an inland lake or pond or a river or stream if the Department determines that there is no direct physical contact and no surface or interflowing groundwater connection to such a body of water.”

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) implements and enforces the state wetland regulation program. As a result of these exclusions, MDEQ has quite a lot of discretion to make permit determinations. Depending on which political party is in power in Lansing, MDEQ funding and staffing, and agency proclivity to running a protection-focused program varies.

If the Clean Water Rule is rolled back and repealed by the US EPA, Michigan will be under even more political pressure to broaden the above exclusion to more than just sand/gravel/mineral mining companies. Already, the Farm Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce are seeking to correct deficiencies with the state program because they expect the federal program to get weakened under the current Administration.

What is the Clean Water for All campaign?

The Clean Water for All campaign uses targeted mobilization, coalition building, communications, on-the-ground field organizing, advocacy, education, and accountability tactics to communicate the importance of clean water and healthy waterways, and defend our fundamental clean water safeguards against any federal efforts to weaken clean water protections. The campaign leverages opportunities to improve federal water infrastructure investment, pushing for investments that are smarter, nature-based, and more equitable. It advocates in a bi-partisan fashion through our allies in Congress and through connections with the Administration. HRWC has joined with the nation’s leading environmental groups to support the campaign and help communicate our shared alarm regarding the Clean Water Rule rollback.

For more background on the issue:




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