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Statement From the Ohio Environmental Council on Proposed Changes to the Waters of the U.S. Rule

Cassie Kelly, Digital Organizer, February 14, 2019

Columbus, Ohio — Today, the US EPA proposed a rule that changes the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS), putting numerous wetlands and miles of streams in Ohio at risk, some of which are drinking water sources for Ohioans. This rule submission begins a public comment period, lasting for a minimum of 60 days. The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Peter Bucher, Water Resources Director for the Ohio Environmental Council:

“This drastic reinterpretation of the Clean Water Act proposes to completely remove federal pollution protections for isolated wetlands, and streams that do not flow year-round. Ohio is already second in the nation for wetland loss and cannot afford to lose anymore while we already face serious water quality challenges.

“This rule ignores the reams of scientific data showing protections of these streams and wetlands are essential to clean and safe water, and at a time when the nation is struggling to replace old water infrastructure, it makes no fiscal sense. No Ohioan should have to worry if their tap water is polluted. The Dirty Water Rule endangers the health and safety of millions of people across Ohio and the country.”