New rules gut water protection

The Trump administration recently finalized radical new rules that eliminate federal protection of fresh water—threatening the diversity of life that depends upon it.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the rules “eliminate federal protection for more than half of our country’s freshwater wetlands, a fifth of our streams, and all manner of groundwater, ephemeral ponds, and marshes that connect bodies of water below the surface.”

“Developers, farmer, industries, and private landowners are now free to pollute, ditch, drain, plow under, and build on top of a host of wetland habitats upon which an extraordinary array of living systems depend, including our own,” wrote lab director John W. Fitzpatrick in the spring issue of LivingBird, the Lab’s magazine.

The EPA’s Science Advisory Board strongly criticized the new rules, saying they “lack a scientific justification, while potentially introducing new risks to human and environmental health.”

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