As anglers, we get it. Clean water translates into quality fishing. Of course, it goes well beyond that–it also translates into safe drinking water, healthy communities and an overall healthy ecosystem.
Why, then, would anyone intentionally attempt make it easier to trash our country’s water resources? It’s a good question, and one Trout Unlimited is asking Congress this week. Before it could get out of committee, the House Energy and Water Appropriations Bill was saddled with a rider that forbid the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA from implement guidance language that clarifies the long-standing Clean Water Act, and lets developers, industry and other agencies know what they can and cannot do when it comes to our irreplaceable water resources.
I know. It sounds like another bureaucratic mess, and it probably is. But what matters is what comes out of the bill–if federal agencies aren’t allowed implement this guidance language, the Clean Water Act (and who in their right mind would argue against the Clean Water Act?) could be wrongfully interpreted to allow activity that could impact a wild trout stream or drain a perfectly healthy wetland near you.
We can talk about the politics. We can talk about the “maybes” and the “ifs,” but when we’re talking about water, let’s be honest. There really shouldn’t be much wiggle room, should there?
Let’s keep clean water clean. Not almost clean. Not sort of clean. This shouldn’t be up to interpretation. The Clean Water Act must protect clean water. Simple as that.
Contact your state’s federal delegation, and let them know this rider puts our fishing, our drinking water and the health of our communities at risk.