It takes an active community to form good environmental policies on all levels of government and safeguard against projects or policies that will ultimately do more harm than good for the Tar-Pamlico River and those who reside in its watershed. Check back frequently to see what you can do to maintain a high quality of life for all citizens residing and visiting the Tar-Pamlico River watershed.
October 2014: Tell Congress to support clean water!
The EPA recently proposed sweeping changes to the nearly 40-year-old definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.
This legal definition is critically important to the work of PTRF and anyone who values clean water. Only waters that are included within the definition can be protected under the Clean Water Act. Not surprisingly, big polluters and the Farm Bureau are spreading misinformation about the draft rule in order to derail it. As a result, some members of Congress are pushing legislation to undermine the Clean Water Act and the definition of “waters of the U.S.”
Not only does this rulemaking effort need to proceed, but EPA needs to strengthen the definition of “waters of the U.S.” and remove certain limitations and exemptions that will undermine important Clean Water Act protections. For example, all tributaries should be protected including headwater and intermittent streams.
Furthermore, ditches should not be categorically exempt because pollution from ditches harm our rivers, lakes and estuaries. For example, huge hog farms currently discharge hog waste into ditches that directly discharge to streams and rivers, and EPA is currently proposing to exempt those ditches under the current draft rule!
Exemption of waters that have long been protected by the Clean Water Act would endanger public health and the environment, including drinking water supplies, recreational users and fisheries. If EPA exempts waters from clean water protections to accommodate agribusiness advocates, it would affect Clean Water Act protections for a broad range of other pollution sources.
Please send a quick email to your Congress Members asking them to oppose all dirty water legislation and to support a strong Clean Water Act.