New rollback puts Montana’s drinking water at risk

Missoula, MT  – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers have now revoked federal protection for thousands of waterways across Montana, as published in the Federal Register.  With our ecosystems and drinking water at stake, Environment Montana will challenge this unprecedented rollback in court.

Streams and wetlands are crucial to the health of Montana’s waterways. Wetlands filter out pollutants, provide wildlife habitat, and protect communities by absorbing floodwaters. If streams are polluted, that pollution can flow into larger rivers and our drinking water. Yet the rollback wipes out protections for countless streams and wetlands — a move that was recently rebuked by EPA’s own science advisors

Skye Borden, state director of Environment Montana, issued the following statement:

“Fifty years ago, the first Earth Day demonstrated American’s overwhelming bi-partisan support for clean water.  Now one day before Earth Day 50, the EPA has just marched forward with the worst rollback in the history of the Clean Water Act.

As surely as water flows downstream, this rule endangers the waterways where Montanans swim, fish, boat, and draw our drinking water.  Moreover, the rule violates the Clean Water Act itself, as we noted in our comments to the EPA.  This rule defies common sense, sound science and the law.  We will not allow it to stand.  

“Public support for maintaining Clean Water Act protections is widespread. More than one million Americans — including business owners, local officials, scientists, and hunters and anglers — have provided comments to EPA, urging the agency to protect streams and wetlands under the Act.

“This is just plain wrong. Clean water is vital for our health, our way of life, and for nature itself. We will not rest until protections for America’s waterways are restored.”

staff | TPIN

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