The EPA proposes new regulations to better protect streams and wetlands that are critical habitats for fish and wildlife.
The new regulations define which headwater streams and rivers, as well as which wetlands, can be protected under the Clean Water Act. The new rules are significant because the Supreme Court made two rulings in the past decade that removed the Clean Water Act’s protection from several headwater streams that provide spawning grounds for fish and the insects they feed on.
The new rules will allow the EPA and Army Corps to better prevent pollution and discharge from damaging these critical habitats.
The new rules also include critical wetland systems that serve as duck habitats. Wetland loss accelerated by 140 percent from 2004 to 2009, According to Ammoland.com.
A number of leading sportsmen organizations, including Trout Unlimited, the American Fly Fishing Trade Association and the National Wildlife Foundation are very supportive of the new regulations.
“Since 2006, what is and isn’t covered by the Clean Water Act has been under dispute,” said Joshua Saks, legislative director of the National Wildlife Federation. “Our sportsmen have been waiting for new regulations for years. Now the EPA and Army Corps will be able to help preserve wildlife and fishing habitats which have been endangered.”
Congress doesn’t have to approve the rules for them to take effect; however, some Republican senators and congressman are expected to challenge the EPA’s rulings.
What are your thoughts about the EPA and Army Corps new regulations? Share your thoughts in the comments section.