EPA Sets Sights on Clean Water Act Improvements; Comment Today!

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Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) along with the Army Corps of Engineers proposed a new set of rules that seeks to define the waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This new set of rules are necessary after court rulings have made it unclear as to which bodies of water have to abide by the CWA.
This newly proposed rule, while much needed, has been met with a great deal of skepticism and misinformation from many individuals and groups, both in Michigan and across the nation. There is a certain degree of distrust that this will be another set of burdensome rules put onto the backs of Americans. We will be posting more soon about why we believe conservationists and sportsmen and women should be supporting these changes.
Determining when the CWA protects a stream or wetland has become increasingly more complex because of Supreme Court Cases in 2001 & 06. By allowing the EPA to weigh in via this rulemaking, we believe it helps to clarify some of the complexities and vagueness brought on by the courts.
More specifically, the proposed rule clarifies that under the Clean Water Act:
  • Most seasonal and rain-dependent streams are protected.
  • Wetlands near rivers and streams are protected.
  • There will also be case by case analysis to determine if protection is necessary for some waters that are not as clear cut.
Since this is a federal rulemaking by the EPA, the impact of this ruling will be great in its width and vast in its implementation. Because of this, we want any and all comments from our members to be heard.
It is critical that sportsmen and women speak out in support of this rulemaking to protect fish and wildlife habitat and the future of our outdoor heritage. If you wish to contribute to the discussion here is how to do it.
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: ow-docket@epa.gov. Include EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880 in the subject line of the message.
  • Mail: Send the original and three copies of your comments to: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880.
  • Hand Delivery/Courier: Deliver your comments to EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880. Such deliveries are accepted only during the Docket's normal hours of operation, which are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The telephone number for the Water Docket is 202-566-2426.
We would appreciate our members weighing in to support this issue. The comment period has been extended until October 20th of this year. For more information on the action, look to this webpage that has been prepared by the EPA.

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