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ACTION ALERT: Major Threat to the Clean Water Act

Please submit comments in objection to the EPA’s proposed changes to the Clean Water Act!
The deadline to submit comments is April 15th.

The Clean Water Act (CWA), enacted in 1972, is the primary federal law governing water pollution in the United States. It establishes a structure for regulating pollution discharge and surface water quality standards, providing federal protections against pollution for all “waters of the United States” under strict standards.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now proposing to revise the definition of “waters of the United States.” If successful, this move could have devastating effects across the nation as protections are stripped from hundreds of thousands of miles certain rivers, streams, and other waterways, as well as large amounts of wetlands and lakes. The proposed definition specifically excludes ephemeral streams, which are those that only flow in response to precipitation, as well as wetlands that do not have a “direct hydrologic surface connection” to other “waters of the United States,” certain ditches, certain artificial lakes and ponds, and much more. This could also remove protections for many intermittent and perennial streams.

The proposed changes would threaten at least 290,000 stream miles in the Southeast alone. Not only could this lead to irreparable damage to sensitive ecosystems, but this also threatens drinking water sources for over 200 million people in the United States, including 70% of Southerners (source: SELC).

The Southern Environmental Law Center has provided this helpful fact sheet and several others highlighting threats to specific Southern states, which can be found at the bottom of this page.

Please make your voice heard before April 15th! Click here to easily submit your comments using the provided form, which allows you to see suggested text and edit to add your personal perspective. #ProtectCleanWater