A Huge Victory for Our Water in Rhode Island and Across the Nation

Providence - Today the Obama administration released its long awaited Clean Water Rule. The rule closes loopholes that have left the drinking water sources for 1 in 2 Rhode Island residents at risk of pollution and destruction. Today's release of the Clean Water Rule is the culmination of more than 12 years of advocacy by Clean Water Action, its members, and its allies.

Clean Water Action's Rhode Island Director, Meg Kerr, released this statement:

"Rhode Island is defined by its fantastic water resources. Narragansett Bay and the rivers that feed it provide Rhode Islanders with unsurpassed opportunities for fishing, boating and beautiful scenery along with critical water supply resources. The Clean Water Rule safeguards these downstream waters by providing protection for ephemeral and headwater streams and wetlands.

The Clean Water Rule is important to more than the quality of life enjoyed by residents and visitors - The rule's protections are important to the state’s economy as well. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that in 2011, $360 million was spent on wildlife recreation in RI, including $130 million on fishing alone, and more than 402,000 people participated in these recreational activities. The Clean Water Rule will protect water quality for fishing and outdoor recreation.

Other water dependent industries like the state’s emerging brewing industry also rely on clean water. Small Rhode Island breweries contribute almost $110 million to our economy every year and support more than 1,300 jobs.

We applaud the Obama administration for finalizing a strong Clean Water Rule. Yesterday vital parts of our water infrastructure which filter pollution and protect our communities from flooding were at risk. Today they are protected. The Clean Water Rule is a huge victory for clean water."

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Clean Water Action is a national citizens' organization working for clean, safe, and affordable water, and prevention of health-threatening pollution. www.cleanwater.org

Michael Kelly
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