Clean Water – Getting the facts straight
Despite recent victories, big polluters and their allies in Austin and DC are waging a political, legal and public relations war against clean water, spreading misinformation and threatening to undo all of the progress we’ve made.
From the Barton Springs to the Colorado River, from Galveston Bay to the Rio Grande River, Texans depend on our rivers, streams, lakes and other waters. They’re where we love to swim, fish, canoe, and kayak or just enjoy the scenery. They supply us with clean drinking water. We should be doing all we can to protect them.
This summer, we won a huge victory for clean water, as the EPA restored protections to thousands of waterways across the country through the new Clean Water Rule. It restored protections to 143,000 miles of rivers and streams that feed the drinking water sources for 11.5 million people across our state.
All told, the rule will protect the drinking water for one in three Americans, and represents the biggest step forward for clean water in more than a decade.
Despite the good news, big polluters and their allies in Austin and DC are waging a political, legal and public relations war against clean water, spreading misinformation and threatening to undo all of the progress we’ve made.
So, let’s get the facts straight:
- The Clean Water Rule (also known as the Waters of the US rule) protects streams and wetlands that are scientifically shown to have the greatest impact on downstream water quality and form the foundation of our nation’s water resources.
- The Clean Water Rule is not an attack on farmers or agriculture. Normal farming and ranching—including planting, harvesting, and moving livestock—have long been exempt from Clean Water Act regulation, and the Clean Water Rule doesn’t change that. Those exemptions can be found at CWA section 404(f); 40 CFR 232.3; 33 CFR 323.4.
- The Clean Water Rule does not regulate the vast majority of ditches. The exemptions for ditches can be found in the rule at §230.3(s)(2)(iii).
- The Clean Water Rule very explicitly does not create additional regulation on land use (rule preamble), puddles (§230.3(s)(2)(iv)(G)), storm water control features (§230.3(s)(2)(vi)), or farm ponds (§230.3(s)(2)(iv)(B)).
- Last but not least, a Clean Water Act permit is only needed if a protected water is going to be polluted or destroyed.
Join the fight to protect clean water by calling on our Senators to stand with the public and not big polluters here.