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Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed responds to federal Clean Water rollbacks

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

In response to the finalization of the rolling back of key portions of the 2015 Waters of the United States Rule, or the "Clean Water Rule," the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed released a statement Jan. 27.

“The [Trump] administration’s cutbacks on the environmental protections afforded by the Waters of the United States Rule is the worst in the Clean Water Act’s history,” said Sandra Meola, director or the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed. “Many streams, rivers and approximately half of the nation’s wetlands will be left federally unprotected.”

“Protections for ephemeral streams, which flow only after rain or snow, will also be erased, though they account for 18% of streams in the United States,” said Meola. “Though they flow only briefly, ephemeral streams can carry pollution downstream into larger water bodies, polluting wildlife habitat and drinking water sources.”

“As communities across the country, including those in the Delaware River Watershed, try to clean up polluted drinking water sources and maintain critical wetland habitat, now should be the time for the federal government to provide robust safeguards for our nation’s waterways," said Meola.

The coalition’s partners at the National Wildlife Federation have composed a detailed analysis of the final rule, available at bit.ly/2GoVqaj.

The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed is a network of more than 150 non-governmental organizations in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware dedicated to protecting and restoring the natural resources of the Delaware River Basin. For more, visit delriverwatershed.org.