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EPA Science: Supporting the Waters of the U.S.

2013 September 17

Reposted from EPA Connect, the Official Blog of EPA’s Leadership

By Nancy Stoner and Lek Kadeli

One of the great environmental success stories of our time is the Clean Water Act. Forty years ago, the condition of U.S. rivers, streams, lakes, coastal areas and other water resources was a national concern.

Things started to improve after the newly-established U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was given direction “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters” through major revisions to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (now the Clean Water Act).

But over the past decade, court decisions have created uncertainty about the Clean Water Act’s protection of certain streams and wetlands from pollution and development. In particular, the confusion centers on questions surrounding small streams and wetlands—some of which only flow after precipitation or dry up during parts of the year—and what role they play in the health of larger water bodies nearby or downstream.

This week, EPA’s Science Advisory Board released for public comment a draft scientific report, “Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence.” This draft report synthesizes more than 1,000 peer-reviewed pieces of scientific literature about how smaller, isolated water bodies are connected to larger ones and represents the state-of-the-science on the connectivity and isolation of waters in the United States.

Read more…

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. Forrest Patterson permalink
    October 27, 2013

    This is a state, not federal, issue.

  2. stephen storch permalink
    October 28, 2013

    how is it that the EPA is weighing in on water quality issues and yet their own stamp of approval is on every toxin found in our water supply, some going back 50-60 years? now in the name of control the feds are looking to take away sovereign rights to water in an attempt to regulate the people out of existence while they continue to grasp their ankles for the chemical corporations. In particular i am referring to the disgusting overuse of Round-Up / glyphosate which has been scientifically connected with the spread of autism spectral disorder, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, infertility, depression, multiple sclerosis and various cancers depending on you genetic weakness. Also chemicals like weed and feed that contain 2,4d / agent orange and are labelled to not use where there is groundwater, water bodies with fish and generally anything alive. The material safety data sheet [msds] for 2,4d states that it gets more toxic as it breaks down! This is how the fed works, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. WILLFULLY IGNORANT IDIOTS. It is a very sad thing.

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