Clean Water Act loophole must be closed

On the 42nd anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a new report from Environment Minnesota, “Waterways Restored,” was released, highlighting the success the law has meant for Powderhorn Lake — taking it from a neighborhood shame that was covered in algae and polluted by trash and stormwater runoff to being voted “Best Lake in Minneapolis” in the Environment Minnesota Research and Policy Report.

All of Minnesota’s waters deserve a success story, but right now, a loophole in the Clean Water Act has left 51 percent of Minnesota’s streams, including those that feed into major waterways like the Mississippi, vulnerable to pollution.

Thankfully, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed closing this loophole to protect all of the state’s rivers and streams. The agency is taking public comments on its rule until Nov. 14, but polluters like agribusinesses and big developers are waging a bitter campaign against it.

The Clean Water Act has meant progress for Powderhorn Lake, but its promise isn’t yet fulfilled. That’s why it’s so important for EPA to stand up to the polluters and restore safeguards to all of the rivers and streams that crisscross our state.

— Lydia Salus, Environment Minnesota

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/28/2014 - 11:47 am.

    impaired waters

    Take a look at the list of impaired waters and the cause of the impairment. http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/water/water-types-and-programs/minnesotas-impaired-waters-and-tmdls/impaired-waters-list.html

    The majority are impaired by mercury which has nothing to do with agribusiness. Mercury makes up 39% of all impairments. I’m not saying agribusiness has no progress to make but they are not the leading culprit and much of the epa is proposing may force unwarranted regulation on the industry.

  2. Submitted by Joe Smithers on 11/19/2014 - 09:31 am.

    Environment Minnesota?

    I really wish orgainizations like this would get their facts right before they try to bully people into thinking the way they do. The states rivers and streams are already protected and do not have loopholes. The epa wants to protect things like drainage ditches, road ditches, intermittent streams, every wetland and pothole, and low areas in fields that may have water in them once every year or two whether these areas connect to anything ever or not. That seems a little over reaching to me and should to anyone else as well.

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