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Karen Hobbs’s Blog

Cheers to protecting the streams and wetlands that make great beer possible

Karen Hobbs

Posted March 25, 2014 in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Green Enterprise, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, The Media and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Click here to take actionAs craft brewers know, you can’t make great beer without clean water.  And you can’t guarantee clean water without having safeguards in place that protect small streams and wetlands from pollution.  For more than a decade, that’s been pretty tough to do, thanks to some confused Supreme Court rulings and policies adopted by the previous administration.

But when you run a business that depends on the availability and reliability of clean water, like brewers do, you need to know that your critical resource is protected.

That’s why 24 of America’s best craft brewers signed an ad in today’s Politico praising the Obama administration for developing new rules to restore Clean Water Act protections to streams and wetlands whose status has been in doubt since polluters opened a loophole that made it easier to dump waste in these types of waters without fear of repercussions. In hundreds of cases, the loophole has rendered the EPA unable to protect communities and go after these polluters.

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EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers unveiled the proposed safeguards earlier today. The agencies’ proposal goes a long way – but not all the way – towards bringing vulnerable streams and wetlands under the umbrella of the Clean Water Act, one of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws.  The proposed rules will better protect the drinking water sources for more than 117 million people, as well as for your favorite craft brewer.  In some places, the rules will help prevent flooding in communities– wetlands are natural sponges, catching and soaking up rain.  And, the rule will help ensure that a favorite fishing hole or duck blind will continue to be a destination for anglers and hunters, which also helps protect the local economies that depend on the revenue generated by these sportsmen.

Which brings me back to you – whatever role clean water plays in your life, now is the time to make your voice heard in support of the proposed rules to protect streams and wetlands.  As strong and diverse as the support for these rules is and will be -- from brewers, sportsmen, farmers, garden clubs, public health professionals and elected officials – opponents of clean water safeguards are also lining up

Send a message now saying you support these rules and join your favorite craft brewer in standing up for clean water!

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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