EPA rules would protect waters

Published 10:12 am Thursday, October 23, 2014

On the 42nd anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a new report from Environment Minnesota, “Waterways Restored,” highlights the success the law has meant for Powderhorn Lake, taking it from near contamination almost 15 years ago to the present pristine quality. This struggle represents one that we share across all of Minnesota, to keep the waters we enjoy so much clean and healthy.

All of Minnesota’s waters deserve a success story like Powderhorn Lake, but right now, a loophole in the Clean Water Act has left over 51 percent of Minnesota’s streams, including those that feed into larger waterways, vulnerable to pollution. This means that many important and popular waterways like the Boundary Waters and the Mississippi River could sustain damage from 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.

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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.


Brian Wasz

Environment Minnesota