The Clean Water Blog

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Trump’s Dirty Water Rule Threatens Virginia’s Waters

Virginia greatly depends on Clean Water Act protections for safe drinking water, healthy wildlife habitats and profitable industries reliant on clean water. The Environmental Protection Agency’s unprecedented proposed rollback of Clean Water protections directly conflicts with these priorities. The Dirty Water Rule would have numerous adverse impacts on:

  • Drinking water: In Virginia alone, 3 out of every 4 residents’ drinking water source would be at risk.  Across the country tens of millions of residents stand to lose these key protections to safe drinking water.
  • Wetlands: More than half of our nation’s wetlands lose protections, including hundreds of thousands of acres of wetlands in Virginia alone. These wetlands are a key aid in filtering pollution and protecting communities against flooding. Part of the goal of the Chesapeake Bay 2014 Agreement that Virginia signed is to create or re-establish 85,000 acres of wetlands and restore an additional 150,000 acres of degraded wetlands by 2025. The Dirty Water Rule would inhibit Virginia from meeting their goals to protect the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
  • Streams: Millions of miles of streams nationwide could be impacted. More than 55,000 miles of streams that feed Virginia’s rivers, lakes, and coastal waters would become vulnerable to pollution. At least 77% of Virginians’ drinking water sources rely on small streams. Under the Dirty Water Rule, ephemeral streams, rain or snow dependent streams that only flow during or after precipitation, would lose federal protection.
  • Economy: Many major industries in Virginia rely on clean water including wildlife recreation, fishing, breweries, wineries and vineyards. These industries are massive economic drivers in the region and create thousands of jobs for Virginians and billions of dollars of economic impact. Despite what corporate polluters say, water protections positively affect the economy by protecting valuable resources.

We need to tell EPA to do its job and protect their Virginians’ right to clean water. The April 15th deadline is nearing for the public to submit comments. Protect southern waters- submit your letter today!

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