(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—The Trump Administration today published proposed changes to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The changes would remove protections for some wetlands and intermittent streams. In response, Lisa Feldt, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Vice President for Environmental Protection and Restoration, issued this statement.
"The Chesapeake Bay Foundation strongly opposes these limits to the Clean Water Act, one of the bedrock environmental laws protecting the Chesapeake Bay.
"Wetlands are critical to the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. They act as buffers, absorbing pollution before it enters local rivers and streams, and also reduce storm surges to help control flooding. Protecting and increasing wetland acreage is essential to achieve the goals of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint and the Chesapeake Bay Agreement.
"The new proposal will have the greatest impacts to the Bay states that do not have additional wetlands protections or rely on the federal program, like Delaware, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. This will make it more difficult for the Bay states with stricter wetland protection programs, like Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania to hold upstream states accountable for water pollution that crosses state lines."
For more information on WOTUS and the role of wetlands, see our Wetlands Protection web page.