TU statement on opening of public comment period for Clean Water Rule repeal (CA)

Public comment period opens for repeal of Clean Water Rule

TU: “We won’t have clean water in our rivers if we have dirty water upstream.”

Sam Davidson / Communications Director
sdavidson@tu.org / 831-235-2542

(July 27, 2017) EMERYVILLE, CALIF Todays opening of a 30-day public comment period on the Trump administrations repeal of the 2015 Clean Water Rule drew quick response from Trout Unlimited (TU) and other sportsmens groups.

Clean water is not political. Its not partisan. Water runs downhill and we all live downstream, said TUs President and CEO, Chris Wood. Clean water is vital for healthy populations of fish and wildlife, and for the drinking water of one in three Americans. Its also a cornerstone of the nations outdoor economy, which provides millions of jobs and is now worth more than $860 billion annually.

The 2015 Clean Water Rule resolved questions raised by two Supreme Court decisions about the types of waters protected under the landmark 1972 Clean Water Act. The 2015 Rule, vetted through a multi-year process drawing more than one million public comments, affirmed the interpretation of the law that was in place for its first thirty yearsthat its water quality protections apply not only to mainstem rivers and lakes but also to smaller tributary streams and wetlands.

Such waters, especially in the arid West, often flow intermittently. These streams nonetheless provide important spawning and rearing habitat for salmon, trout and steelhead. In California, where the majority of salmon and steelhead runs are now listed under the Endangered Species Act, 64 percent of stream miles within the historic range of steelhead and salmon are intermittent or ephemeral, and 57 percent are classified as headwaters.

Brian Johnson, director of TUs California programs, said, The Clean Water Rule just makes sense. We won’t have clean water in our rivers if we have dirty water upstream. The effort to replace the 2015 Rule is misguided and would hurt cold water fisheries and fishing opportunities.

TU and other sportsmens groups vowed to engage their memberships in the public comment process and remind the Trump administration that clean water is the most basic requirement for healthy populations of game fish, and for sustainable angling.

Guy Jeans, owner of the Kern River Fly Fishing Shop & Guide Service in Kernville, California, said, Water quality is hugely important to me. Its very disappointing the President would support any action that could hurt Americas trout streams, and angling industry folks like me, especially since he said during his campaign that he supports fishing and hunting in this country. I hope he and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency display some real leadership here, and protect water quality in headwaters streams and wetlands. Our sporting heritage, and my business, depend on it.

For more information: http://standup.tu.org/stand-up-for-clean-water/

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About Trout Unlimited
Trout Unlimited is the nations oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North Americas trout and salmon and their watersheds. Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and follow our blog for all the latest information on trout and salmon conservation.