Portland -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveils its plan to drastically roll back Clean Water Act protections from vast networks of streams and wetlands in Oregon and across the country. Celeste Meiffren-Swango, State Director with Environment Oregon, issued the following statement:
“The ‘Dirty Water Rule’ is the most extreme attack on clean water in recent memory. This outrageous proposal upends the core mission of the EPA: protecting human health and the environment.
“The health of the Columbia and other rivers in Oregon depends on the streams that feed them and the wetlands that filter out pollution. By stripping federal protections from streams and wetlands, the Dirty Water Rule would put critical waterways and our drinking water at risk of pollution. It defies common sense, sound science and the will of Oregonians.
“The Dirty Water Rule being proposed to today would replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule, which restored federal protections to 61,500 streams, which feed important waterways and help provide drinking water to 1.7 million Oregonians. More than a thousand scientific studies and a million Americans – including 40,449 Oregonians – backed protections for these waterways.
“As stewards of our environment, it is our moral obligation to protect Oregon’s waters. For the sake of our ecosystem, our way of life, and even our own drinking water, we must stop EPA from opening our waterways to polluters.”
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Environment Oregon is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organizations working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.