Baltimore, MD – Today, coming off the biggest step forward for clean water in more than a decade, Environment Maryland stood with community leaders to release a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency signed by 72 small business owners. The letter expressed support for the EPA’s proposal to clarify Clean Water Act protection for many of Maryland’s waterways by closing loopholes in the Clean Water Act that currently leave 19% of Maryland’s streams and the drinking water for nearly 4 million Marylanders at risk of unchecked pollution.
“With the drinking water for nearly 4 million Marylanders at risk, we’re thrilled to see the EPA moving forward to protect our waterways,” said Talya Tavor, Field Associate with Environment Maryland, which has worked for more than a decade to restore these critical Clean Water Act protections. “This rule is about securing that all our water is safe and healthy. Whether we’re crabbing on the Bay, fishing in our favorite stream, or just drinking the water that comes from our tap, we need Maryland’s waterways to be clean and protected.”
Standing with Environment Maryland were Betsy Nicholas, Executive Director of WATERKEEPRS Chesapeake, and EPA acting Assistant Administrator for Water, Nancy Stoner. Various groups have weighed in, and continue to weigh in, as the EPA moves forward with a rule to restore protections to waterways across Maryland’s.
“The headwater streams, which will be protected under this rule, feed the drinking water supplies for a third of our population.” Said Nicholas. “These streams, and our drinking water supplies, need to be protected from toxins, chemicals, and other harmful pollutants.”
The breadth of support was reinforced by the speakers’ remarks as they celebrated the EPA’s proposal today, echoing that whether it’s for operating a business, watering crops on a farm, or turning on the tap for a drink, everyone has a stake in clean water.
“Allowing any of our waterways to be vulnerable to pollution means we leave our small businesses, farms, and families vulnerable as well,” said Tavor “To protect the health of the Bay and our communities, we need the Clean Water Act to protect all Maryland’s waterways. We stand by the Environmental Protection Agency in full support of their efforts to keep our waterways clean and healthy — now and for future generations.”
Environment Maryland is a statewide, citizen based, environmental advocacy group working to protect clean air, clean water and open spaces.