In an historic step for the protection of clean water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army are finalizing the Clean Water Rule today to clearly protect from pollution and degradation the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources. This afternoon at 12:45 pm ET, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy will deliver remarks on the Clean Water Rule at an event at an Earth Conservation Corps facility on the Anacostia River. They will be joined by Obama Administration Officials and stakeholders to discuss the importance of clean water to our health, our communities and our economy. Following the event, Administrator McCarthy and Assistant Secretary Darcy will hold a press call to answer questions about the Agencies’ final rule. Read the EPA’s press release here. Read a statement from President Obama here. Read a statement from Administrator McCarthy here.
Science shows us the most important waters to protect. In developing the Clean Water Rule, the Agencies used the latest science, including a report summarizing more than 1,200 peer-reviewed, published scientific studies—which showed small streams and wetlands play an important role in the health of larger downstream waterways like rivers and lakes.
The final Clean Water Rule ensures that waters protected under the Clean Water Act are more precisely defined and predictably determined, making permitting less costly, easier, and faster for businesses and industry. The rule is grounded in law and the latest science, and is shaped by public input. The rule does not create any new permitting requirements for agriculture and maintains all previous exemptions and exclusions.
Once the rule is out, we will have a statement about the rule, which will be posted here.