Midwestern Environmental Groups Embrace New Federal Clean Water Rule

Regulations Announced By EPA, Army On Wednesday Clarify Protections For US Waterways

Andrew Hill (CC-BY-ND)

Midwest environmental groups welcomed an announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Wednesday of a new “Clean Water Rule” that will clarify protections for waterways.

Todd Ambs of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition said many of Wisconsin’s 15,000 lakes, 84,000 miles of rivers and streams, and 5 million acres of wetlands should benefit from the rules. Some national farm and fertilizer groups raised concerns about an earlier version of the rule, but Ambs said most farm streams and ditches won’t be affected.

“What it does make clear is that if you have a waterway on your property that is capable of carrying pollutants to navigable waterways in this country, that we ought to be able to do something about that,” he said.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Ambs also said the federal rule should help the Great Lakes by protecting wetlands and tributaries. He said property developers will have more certainty about their proposals.

Republicans in Congress remain critical of the Clean Water Rule, and are trying to block it with legislation.