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Real Estate - Residential

Opinion: Protecting Water Strengthens American Economy

By Ken Kopocis, posted Oct 29, 2014
Water sustains a strong American economy. Streams and wetlands are crucial for fishing, hunting, tourism, agriculture, recreation, energy, and manufacturing—and businesses depend on clean water for basic operations.

Without Clean Water Act protections, there's often nothing stopping sewage, toxic chemicals, or other harmful pollutants from threatening our waterways—not just lakes and rivers, but the streams and wetlands that feed them. 

Right now, not all streams and wetlands are protected equally from pollution, and this loophole is threatening clean water. That's why this spring, EPA took targeted action with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the waters that really matter. Science shows us what kinds of wetlands, streams, and headwaters impact water downstream—so our action protects these waters.

A recent survey found that 80 percent of U.S. small business owners favor including small streams and headwaters in federal clean water protections. Meanwhile, the 800,000 Latino-owned businesses that make up the Latin Business Association supported this commonsense proposal in a recent column. More than 300 small businesses across the country wrote a letter to the President supporting protections for critical waterways across the country, because every small business in America needs clean water to thrive. Businesses depend on certainty – and EPA’s clean water proposal delivers certainty and gives companies peace of mind.

Clean water and a strong economy go hand in hand. Business leaders across the country have praised EPA’s continued commitment to clean water for all Americans. In the end, this proposal protects the water that American businesses depend on.

More information is at www2.epa.gov/uswaters.

Ken Kopocis is the deputy assistant administrator for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. His column was submitted in response to a recent column from Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors president Jody Wainio about the proposed rule.

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