Monday, June 01, 2015


"Why farmers are concerned about EPA’s new rules on protected water" PBS NewsHour 5/29/2015


SUMMARY:  The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have finalized new rules about what kinds of waterways are protected under the Clean Water Act, adding the smaller streams, tributaries and wetlands that feed drinking water for some Americans.  Political editor Lisa Desjardins reports on what the shift means, and why it’s drawn both praise and criticism.

Editor’s note:  The new rules regarding America’s waterways were issued jointly by Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. Read more.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  This week, the United States changed the way it looks at one our most precious resources, water.  The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a new rule about what kinds of waterways it protects, to include things like tributaries.

The change has brought both applause and sharp criticism.

Our political editor, Lisa Desjardins, reports on what this shift means.

SEAN O’BYRNE, Owner, Great Waters Brew Pub:  What can I get you guys?

LISA DESJARDINS (NewsHour):  Sean O’Byrne owns the Great Waters Brew Pub in downtown Saint Paul, and the main ingredient in the beer he crafts is local well water.

For the past several years, a kind of fear has mounted for him, that some of the protections initially offered by the 1972 Clean Water Act have eroded, putting Minnesota’s great waters at risk.

SEAN O’BYRNE:  I’m a little scared at what people are trying to do to it, take some of the teeth out of it.

LISA DESJARDINS:  That’s why he’s cheering the new rule finalized this week by the Environmental Protection Agency, a rule meant to clarify which bodies of water can be regulated by the federal government.

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