Week 21: #Waves4Change 2020 Sustainability Challenge: Speak Up About Rollback Of Epa Water Protection Laws
What is Happening?
The Trump administration finalized a substantial rollback of EPA rules and regulations under the Clean Water Act that will make it easier to discharge pollutant into America’s streams and waterways. The Clean Water Act was enacted in 1948 and significantly amended in 1972 with the goal to establish regulations around discharging pollutants into waterways in the United States. In 2015, the Obama administration enhanced the Clean Water Act by defining what bodies of water qualify for federal protection and regulation under the Act. This identified many small bodies of water, streams, and wetlands that through scientific studies were proven vital to the health of downstream rivers and bays. The new rollback removes many of the laws protecting water that were in place before the 2015 enhancement.
Experts have nicknamed the rollback the ‘Dirty Water Rule’. Even the Science Advisory Board to the Trump administration advised that the law would be harmful to the environment stating, “the SAB finds that the proposed Rule lacks scientific justification, while potentially introducing new risks to human and environmental health.”
How Does it Affect You?
Dirty water affects us all as we need water to survive. With added pollutants potentially going into our source of drinking water, we would either be at risk of drinking it or potentially pay more for cities to enhance filtering requirements to filter the added pollutants out.
My family, including my dogs, go on multiple walks through our local rivers and streams in the summer. It is the perfect way to stay cool and enjoy the outdoors. If many of those local streams are no longer protected by federal regulations prohibiting water, then it no longer allows us to feel safe in those waterways.
What Can You Do?
Staying aware of the issues and voicing your concerns to congressional representatives can be the first step. If the federal government is pushing restrictions of the polluting of waterways to state regulations, then all that are concerned should contact their governor to voice their concern. Make it personal, and state how the change is directly affecting you. The more voices heard, the more likely it is that the message gets across.