EPA Proposes Biggest Step for Clean Water in a Decade

Media Contacts
Anusha Narayanan

Environment Washington

Seattle – Today, coming off the biggest step forward for clean water in more than a decade, Environment Washington stood with community leaders to release a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency signed by 31 small business owners. The letter expressed support for the EPA’s proposal to restore Clean Water Act protections to many of Washington’s waterways by closing loopholes in the Clean Water Act that currently leave 54% of Washington’s streams and the drinking water for 2 million Washingtonians at risk of unchecked pollution.  

“With the drinking water for 2 million Washingtonians at risk, we’re thrilled to see the EPA moving forward to protect our waterways,” said Anusha Narayanan, Field Associate with Environment Washington, 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 boating on the sound, fishing in our favorite stream, or just drinking the water that comes from our tap, we need Washington’s waterways to be clean and protected.”

Standing with Environment Washington was Congressman Adam Smith, a leader in protecting our state’s waterways. Various groups have weighed in, and continue to weigh in, as the EPA moves forward with a rule to restore protections to waterways across Washington. 

This past fall, 30 small business owners joined Environment Washington in calling on the EPA to restore Clean Water Act protections to all Washington’s waterways. 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. 

“I am pleased to see the EPA issue a rule that clarifies protection for streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.  Water is one of our nation’s most important resources, and one that we must work to preserve and protect. This proposed rule takes a positive step forward in doing so.” said Congressman Adam Smith, who this fall was one of 89 members of the House of Representatives to call on the EPA to move forward with the rulemaking.

“This proposed rule will help protect water quality in the Puget Sound and around the Pacific Northwest,” said Dennis McLerran, EPA Regional Administrator in Seattle. “The health of our rivers, lakes, bays, and coastal waters depends on the network of streams and wetlands where they begin.  We are looking forward to hearing from environmental groups, industry, agriculture and the public about how we can improve and publish a final rule.” 

“Allowing any of our waterways to be vulnerable to pollution means we leave our small businesses, farms, and families vulnerable as well,” said Narayanan. “To protect the health of Puget Sound and our communities, we need the Clean Water Act to protect all Washington’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 Washington is a statewide, citizen-based, environmental advocacy group


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