ALEXANDRIA, VA. - Today, Environment Virginia stood alongside community leaders and the Environmental Protection Agency in support of the EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers’ joint rulemaking to restore Clean Water Act protections to more than 38,000 miles of streams throughout Virginia and Maryland.
The group also released a letter signed by 115 small business owners throughout the Chesapeake Bay region supporting the EPA’s steps and urging them to finalize these protections for smaller waterways, many of which feed into iconic waters like the Potomac and the Chesapeake Bay.
“With the drinking water for more than 2 million Virginians at risk, we’re thrilled to see the EPA moving forward to protect our waterways,” said Kimberly Williams, clean water associate with Environment Virginia, which has worked for more than a decade to restore Clean Water Act protections to these waterways. “This rule is about ensuring that all our water is clean and healthy. Whether we’re boating on the Bay, walking along the Potomac, or just drinking the water that comes from our tap, we need our waterways to be clean and protected.”
Standing with Environment Virginia were Ron Taylor, owner of Wheel Nuts Bike Shop in Alexandria, Congressman Jim Moran, and EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, Nancy Stoner. The group stressed the importance of ensuring that our waterways get the protections they deserve.
“An increasing number of our customers are triathletes and so we support the sport with weekly rides and swims,” said Ron Taylor, owner of Wheel Nuts Bike Shop. “Our customers train in the Potomac and there are a number of triathlons and swimming events held in the river. When these event are postponed or cancelled due to poor water quality, the trickle-down effect is devastating, with hotel and restaurant cancellations and fewer bike equipment rentals and sales. My store suffers when racers stay home. Safeguarding water quality in our streams and rivers by closing loopholes in the Clean Water Act is paramount. We should do this not just for an economic reason but so that our children and our children's children will have clean rivers and streams to swim in and fish from.”
“Millions of Americans depend on headwaters and seasonal streams for their drinking water. These are the waters most in need of protection from pollution and degradation,” said Congressman Jim Moran, who this fall led a letter signed by 89 members of the House of Representatives calling on the EPA to close these loopholes. “The EPA's rule ensures our federal and state governments are in the right position to protect our tap water by clarifying which streams receive protection under the Clean Water Act.”
“Allowing any of our waterways to be vulnerable to pollution means we leave our small businesses and communities vulnerable as well,” said Williams. “To protect the health of the Potomac River, the Chesapeake Bay, and our families, we need the Clean Water Act to protect all of our waterways. We stand by the Environmental Protection Agency in full support of their efforts to keep our waterways clean and healthy -- now and for future generations.”
Source Alexandria News