Albuquerque – Environment New Mexico hailed the Obama administration for releasing a proposed guidance that, if adopted, would restore Clean Water Act protections to vital streams across New Mexico and protect New Mexicans’ drinking water.
“Right now, waters like Gila River are at risk as the very streams that feed them and the wetlands that keep them clean may no longer be protected by the Clean Water Act. We need to stop giving polluters a free pass and start protecting our waterways and our drinking water,” said Sanders Moore, Advocate for Environment New Mexico.
One of America’s core environmental laws, the original Clean Water Act was intended to protect all of our waters from harmful pollution. But over the past decade, developers and others have used litigation to create loopholes in the Act, leaving thousands of streams and millions of acres of wetlands likely beyond its scope.
Here in New Mexico, this means that 88% of the streams in the state and waters that feed the drinking water supplies of more than 280,000 New Mexicans may no longer be protected by the Clean Water Act, according to EPA.
“Restoring Clean Water Act protections to all our waters is crucial to our health, economy, and environment. The clean water guidance released today will take a much needed step towards restoring Clean Water Act protections to these vital waterways,” said Moore.
“New Mexicans want clean water. In fact, whenever I talk to people across New Mexico about this issue, they are simply appalled to learn that the Clean Water Act might no longer protect their favorite local stream,” said Moore.
“In the face of powerful polluters who want to continue fouling our waterways without limit, President Obama is showing true courage in moving forward to protect New Mexico’s waters,” continued Moore.