Stop the Attack on the Clean Water Rule
The US EPA and the Corps of Engineers recently finalized a federal rule to clarify the Clean Water Act’s protection of smaller streams and wetlands—while maintaining the Act’s original exemptions for normal farming, ranching and forestry practices. The rule clears up confusion regarding which streams were covered by the Act following US Supreme Court Cases. The rule specifically excludes irrigation systems, ponds and the like, while also spelling out which streams must be protected.
CLEAN WATER IS VITAL TO OUR HEALTH, COMMUNITIES AND ECONOMY. THE CLEAN WATER RULE PROTECTS STREAMS AND WETLANDS THAT ARE SCIENTIFICALLY SHOWN TO HAVE THE GREATEST IMPACT ON DOWNSTREAM WATER QUALITY.
Unfortunately, some Arkansas lawmakers are using inflammatory rhetoric to attack the rule. A federal court has blocked implementation while some states, including Arkansas, along with multiple industry groups challenge the Clean Water Rule's legality.
NOTHING IS MORE FUNDAMENTAL THAN CLEAN WATER. TELL ARKANSAS LAWMAKERS TO DROP THE RHETORIC AND GET THE FACTS.
SENATOR TOM COTTON - (202) 224-2353
SENATOR JOHN BOOZMAN - (202) 224-4843
US House of Representatives
DISTRICT 1 REP. RICK CRAWFORD - (202) 225-4076
DISTRICT 2 REP. FRENCH HILL - (202) 225-2506
DISTRICT 3 REP. STEVE WOMACK - (202) 225-4301
DISTRICT 4 REP. BRUCE WESTERMAN -(202) 225-3772
PROTECT ARKANSAS’ DRINKING WATER
The Clean Water Rule was recently finalized by the Obama administration after years of planning, 400 stakeholder meetings, and more than a million public comments. It safeguards our water and restores protections to the drinking water sources for 1 in 3 Americans. This includes the drinking water for about 1 in every 3 Arkansas residents. The Clean Water Rule is a strong, commonsense policy that makes clean water a priority throughout the nation.
If Congress blocks the Clean Water Rule, at least 63% of Arkansas' stream miles and millions of acres of wetlands nationwide will again be at risk from pollution and destruction from development, oil and gas production, and other industrial activities. Blocking this rule would imperil drinking water sources, as well as the small businesses and communities that rely on clean water.
32% of Arkansas residents get their drinking water from sources that rely on small streams that are protected by the Clean Water Rule.
Protections were restored to 5,088 miles of streams that feed into Arkansas’ drinking water sources.
Thousands of acres of wetlands that provide flood protection, recharge groundwater supplies, filter pollution, and provide essential wildlife habitat are safeguarded. Protecting these wetlands is especially important in Arkansas, which has lost 72% of its wetlands since the 1780s – the most of any inland state.
RULE PROVIDES MORE ECONOMIC BENEFITS THAN COSTS
The Clean Water Rule restores, but does not expand, the historic coverage of the Clean Water Act. EPA estimates that the rule will provide at least $339 million and up to $572 million annually in benefits to the public, including reducing flooding, filtering pollution, providing wildlife habitat, supporting hunting and fishing, and recharging groundwater.
Protecting small streams and wetlands supports fish and wildlife and Arkansas’s vibrant recreational industry. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that in 2011, $1.8 billion was spent on wildlife recreation in Arkansas, including $496 million on fishing, and more than 1.3 million people participated in these recreational activities throughout the state.
Arkansas’s thriving brewing industry relies on clean water. Arkansas breweries contribute over $211 million to our economy every year and support more than 2,100 jobs.
ARKANSAS CLEAN WATER RULE SUPPORTERS
Over 2,200 Arkansas residents, out of more than 800,000 Americans, support the rule.
Groups like the Arkansas Canoe Club, the Arkansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, the Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers and the Arkansas Wildlife Federation support protections for clean water.
Arkansas joined 34 other states in 2006 to urge the Supreme Court to uphold strong federal clean water protections and in 2003 the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission opposed Bush administration efforts to roll back protections for small streams and wetlands.
Recent polling shows that 79% of Americans want Congress to let EPA implement the Rule.
For more information, please visit www.protectcleanwater.org