15 Plants to Help Save Bees - EcoWatch

15 Plants to Help Save Bees - EcoWatch

15 Plants to Help Save Bees - EcoWatch

By Rebecca Long , American Rivers

On June 27 Administrator Scott Pruitt of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a roll-back of an Obama-era administration policy that protected more than half the nation's streams from pollution. "We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation's farmers and businesses," Pruitt said in a statement at the time. But what is the Clean Water Rule (CWR), why was it never implemented, and how will it repeal it affect the drinking water of one in three Americans?

The regulation was meant to clarify portions of the 1972 Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA explicitly protects the "waters of the United States," which are defined under previous regulations as "traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, all other waters that could affect interstate or foreign commerce, impoundments of waters of the United States, tributaries, the territorial seas, and adjacent wetlands. "

However, under the CWA, it was difficult to discern whether certain bodies of water were federally protected or not. Were wetlands adjacent to non-navigable tributaries of navigable waters protected or not? Confusing, right? These uncertainties lead to frustrations among developers and environmental protection groups, and ultimately, were addressed several times by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Even though this koala looks like a newborn it was actually born six months ago and was the size of a jelly bean
Even though this koala looks like a newborn it was actually born six months ago and was the size of a jelly bean

Since October 2015, the Clean Water Rule has been stuck in federal appeals court. But just because the rule has not been fully implemented, it does not mean repealing it will not have long-term effects on our drinking water, environment, economy and much more.

According to the EPA, within the continental US, about 117 million people, or more than one third of the total US population, get some or all of their drinking water from public drinking water systems that rely at least intermittent, ephemeral or headwater streams. These are the same intermittent, ephemeral or headwater streams that the Trump administration's EPA wants to no longer protect by revoking the Clean Water Rule. By slashing clean water safeguards, the President and Pruitt are putting the health of hundreds of millions of us at risk.

Not only is our drinking water at risk, but clean water is essential to the economy. Our $ 887-billion outdoor recreation economy supports 7.6 million American jobs, and it all depends on clean water. In 2011 alone, hunters spent $ 34 billion, anglers spent $ 41.8 billion and wildlife watchers spent $ 55 billion. The money and sports in the pursuit of their passion supports everything from major manufacturing industries to small businesses in communities across the country.

The streams and wetlands that the CWR protects not only affect the water quality for fish downstream, but also provides nesting habitat for more than 50 percent of North American waterfowl. Wetlands span some 110 million acres across the U.S., providing critical habitat for fish and wildlife as well as aiding in filtration of contaminated runoff and groundwater storage. What happens upstream, effects those downstream.

What happens upstream, effects those downstream. What we do today to protect our water, protects our water tomorrow. It's that simple.

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