THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
By Mary Clare Jalonick, ASSOCIATED PRESS
President Obama said in a statement Wednesday that the rules will provide needed clarity for business and industry and ‘will ensure polluters who knowingly threaten our waters can be held accountable.’
Drinking water for 117 million Americans will be protected under new rules shielding small streams, tributaries and wetlands from pollution and development, the Obama administration said Wednesday.
The White House said the rules would provide much-needed clarity for landowners, but some Republicans and farm groups said they go much too far. House Speaker John Boehner declared they would send “landowners, small businesses, farmers, and manufacturers on the road to a regulatory and economic hell.”
The rules, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, are designed to clarify which smaller waterways fall under federal protection after two Supreme Court rulings had left the reach of the Clean Water Act uncertain. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the waters affected would be those with a “direct and significant” connection to larger bodies of water downstream that are already protected. More…