The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to establish a new set of regulations for the drinking water supply in the country.
Americans will need to provide feedback within 30 days about a proposal to cancel and replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule. Otherwise known as the Waters of the United States rule, the regulations aim to protect drinking water sources pursuant to the 1972 Clean Water Act.
Filter underdrains and other treatment equipment may have become alternative choices for reusing wastewater for drinking purposes, yet natural bodies of water still account for a significant part of the supply. Streams and wetlands provide a third of the U.S. drinking water resources, which is why protecting them from pollution is important, according to Jan Goldman-Carter of the National Wildlife Federation.
However, several industries from agriculture to the oil and gas sectors fiercely opposed the rule. Their efforts to stall the federal regulations bore fruit, as a federal appeals court issued a stay ruling pending litigation. Now, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt seeks to rescind the 2015 measure, while returning water regulatory oversight to states in the process.
Environmental advocates have urged the EPA to provide more time on soliciting public feedback. Instead of 30 days, the agency should at least accept input within 6 months or more, before replacing the current regulations once the proposal appears on the Federal Register.
Small business owners may also oppose the proposal, as more than 80% of them support the Clean Water Rule, according to the Environment America Research and Policy Center. Part of the reason behind their support may involve the rule’s intended economic benefits, amounting to more than $400 million.
The issue of replacing the current regulations for the country’s drinking water supply affects everyone. Are you in favor of the proposal to revoke the 2015 Clean Water Rule?