Boston – Environment Massachusetts hailed the Obama administration for releasing a proposed guidance that, if adopted, would restore Clean Water Act protections to vital streams across Massachusetts and protect Bay Staters drinking water. In response to the announcement, Environment Massachusetts is launching a major initiative to build support for clean water protections.
“Right now, waters like the Charles river are at risk as the very streams that feed them and the wetlands that keep them clean may no longer be protected by the Clean Water Act. We need to stop giving polluters a free pass and start protecting our waterways and our drinking water,” said Ben Wright, advocate with Environment Massachusetts.
One of America’s core environmental laws, the original Clean Water Act was intended to protect all of our waters from harmful pollution. But over the past decade, developers and others have used litigation to create loopholes in the Act, leaving thousands of streams and millions of acres of wetlands likely beyond its scope.
Here in Massachusetts, this means that 52% of the streams in the state and waters that feed the drinking water supplies of more than 4.2 million residents may no longer be protected by the Clean Water Act, according to EPA.
“Restoring Clean Water Act protections to all our waters is crucial to our health, economy, and environment. The clean water guidance released today will take a much needed step towards restoring Clean Water Act protections to these vital waterways,” said Wright
In response to today’s announcement, Environment Massachusetts is launching a summer-long grassroots campaign to educate the public across the state about clean water and build support for the proposed guidance.
“Massachusetts residents want clean water. In fact, whenever I talk to people across the state about this issue, they are simply appalled to learn that the Clean Water Act might no longer protect their favorite local stream or wetlands” said Wright.
“In the face of powerful polluters who want to continue fouling our waterways without limit, President Obama is showing true courage in moving forward to protect Massachusetts’ waters,” continued Wright “Environment Massachusetts is ready to mobilize Bay Staters to show that the public is on the side of our rivers and clean drinking water.”
# # #
Environment Massachusetts is a state-based, citizen-funded environmental group working for clean air, clean water, and open space.