Industry condemns repeal of Clean Water Act in US
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The repeal of the Clean Water Act in the United States has been condemned by the representative body of the recreational fishing industry.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has rescinded legislation that was put in place to protect millions of miles of streams that provide clean drinking water for one-in-three Americans and critical water and habitat for fish and wildlife populations.
“We are extremely disappointed by this action and deeply concerned for the environmental and economic health of our industry and the country,” said Ben Bulis, President of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA). “Every single one of us is downstream from the headwaters and wetlands that the EPA and USACE are now abandoning. Walking away from the very protections they put in place in 2015 is extremely irresponsible.
“This action will jeopardise the nation’s clean water supply, destroy millions of miles of irreplaceable fish habitat, directly impact fly fishing businesses and undermine the powerful economic value of the outdoor recreational industry – a trade that contributes more to our nation’s GDP than resource extraction.
“We applaud and support our conservation partner, Trout Unlimited, for its leadership and action on this issue and join it in calling for Congress to reverse this decision.”
“The final rule, in combination with a replacement rule to be introduced later in the year, could tear the soul out of the Clean Water Act’s protection of small streams and wetlands,” said Chris Wood, President of Trout Unlimited, the conservation group dedicated to the welfare of freshwater streams, rivers and upland habitats.
“Headwater streams, especially ephemeral streams, are like capillaries in our bodies – they are small and easy to overlook – but we couldn’t last long without them. It is a fundamentally flawed final rule.”