What is in this article?:
- Administration announces national clean water framework
- Draft Federal guidance
- Provides critical benefits
The Administration's national clean water framework outlines a series of actions under way and planned across Federal agencies to ensure the integrity of the waters Americans rely on every day for drinking, swimming, and fishing, and that support farming, recreation, tourism and economic growth.
Draft Federal guidance
It includes draft Federal guidance to clarify which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act nationwide; innovative partnerships and programs to improve water quality and water efficiency; and initiatives to revitalize communities and economies by restoring rivers and critical watersheds.
"Clean water and healthy waterways are vital to the health and vibrancy of our communities and the strength of our economy," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "Working with our partners across communities, governments and sectors, we are taking comprehensive action to ensure Americans have the clean and healthy waters they need and deserve."
"The steps we're outlining today will be instrumental to protecting the waters of the United States, and ensuring that the vital natural resources our communities depend on for their health and their economy are safeguarded for generations to come," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
"After four decades of progress on clean water, there is still work to be done to address unfinished business and tackle new threats to our waters. American families and businesses are counting on us to maintain and improve the rivers, lakes, streams and other waters that support thousands of communities and millions of jobs across the country."
"Healthy rivers and clean waters are fundamental to our economy, our health, and our way of life," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "With growing pressures on our natural systems, we must work to secure cleaner, safer, and more reliable water supplies for our communities."
"As our nation's foremost conservationists, farmers, ranchers and forest owners have a values system rooted in rural America that recognizes we cannot continue to take from the land without giving something back," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
"At USDA, we are working with farmers, ranchers and forest owners to conserve land, plant stream buffers for cleaner water, and install other conservation practices. We also will continue to invest in rural water and community facility projects that help small towns ensure their citizens have access to safe and reliable drinking water. The draft Clean Water Act guidance released today reflects USDA's work with our Federal partners by maintaining existing exemptions for ongoing agricultural and forestry activities, thereby providing farmers, ranchers and forest landowners with certainty that current agricultural and forestry activities can continue."
"The Army is very proud of our ecosystem restoration efforts across the Nation," said Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy. "The proposed joint EPA and Army guidance will clarify Clean Water Act jurisdiction and help the Corps and its partner agencies protect important aquatic resources and watersheds that communities rely on for their quality of life and essential services."