EPA Kicks Off Tour of Iconic Waters, Celebrating the fiftieth Anniversary of the Clear Water Act  | US EPA

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SEATTLE (August 5, 2022)—At present at an occasion in Seattle, Washington, U.S. Environmental Safety Company Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox joined EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Northwest Casey Sixkiller, Washington Division of Ecology Director Laura Watson and native leaders to kick off the fiftieth Anniversary of the Clear Water Act celebration tour.  

“When Congress handed the Clear Water Act in 1972—with an awesome bipartisan majority—it charted a brand new path for America’s waters. And because of this, we have now seen transformational progress during the last 50 years and lots of communities are returning to their waters,” mentioned EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “At present, President Biden and Congress have created the following historic alternative to strengthen our waters with the biggest ever funding in water by way of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Regulation and EPA is working with its companions to maximise progress now and for the following 50 years.”  

“Right here within the Pacific Northwest, our iconic waterbodies are the lifeblood of our communities,” mentioned EPA Regional Administrator Casey Sixkiller. “We rely on them for thus many issues – ingesting water, transportation and items motion, recreation, our tradition and our lifestyle. In some ways, water defines us. The Clear Water Act fueled the Puget Sound Nationwide Estuary Program and our extremely profitable partnerships with state, tribal, native governments and NGOs. Collectively we have now made nice progress to guard and restore the Sound and collectively we’ll proceed this critically vital work.”  

5 many years of Clear Water Act implementation have lowered direct air pollution discharges to our nation’s waters and improved wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. This work if constructed on a basis of robust partnerships between federal, state, native, and Tribal governments in addition to trade, agriculture, and non-profit organizations.  

The occasion in Seattle additionally featured Puget Sound Partnership Director Laura Blackmore, Northwest Indian Fisheries Fee Govt Director Justin Parker, Washington Stormwater Heart Assistant Director Lisa Rozmyn, Salmon-Protected Puget Sound Director Ellen Southard, and The Nature Conservancy Puget Sound Conservation Director Jessie Israel.  

Whereas locations like Puget Sound stay fishable and swimmable, there may be nonetheless work to be carried out to guard these sources. EPA and its federal companions are coordinating efforts by way of the Puget Sound Federal Job Power to higher handle stormwater runoff and help the well being of the Puget Sound and the salmon inhabitants it helps.  

“The Clear Water Act is important to defending the Salish Sea, tribal communities and everybody who lives within the area,” mentioned Northwest Indian Fisheries Fee Govt Director Justin Parker. “At present we’re celebrating actual progress, however trying forward, we face larger challenges from inhabitants development, local weather change, and air pollution discharged into our meals and water. Whereas Puget Sound and Coastal waters are stunning and vibrant, they’re additionally threatened by wastewater remedy and accumulation of toxics. The EPA-tribal partnership has made vital strides, however the surroundings is in disaster and our treaty rights are in danger. We should construct from our success, have interaction science and urgently advance Clear Water Act protections for the following 50 years.”  

“Over the previous 50 years, the Clear Water Act has been a robust device to guard and restore water high quality in Washington,” mentioned Washington Division of Ecology Director Laura Watson. “A powerful partnership with EPA helps us to protect our state’s waters, and supply a wholesome surroundings for our households, farms, and communities.”   

 “The Nationwide Estuary Program, created below the Clear Water Act, helps collaborative native motion to revive our nation’s estuaries,” mentioned Puget Sound Partnership Govt Director Laura Blackmore. “This system enabled us to work with tons of of companions to create the 2022-2026 Motion Agenda, our plan to guard and restore Puget Sound. Collectively we’ll restore habitat, enhance water high quality, shield our salmon and orcas, improve local weather resilience, and guarantee human wellbeing. We have a good time the accomplishments of those that got here earlier than us, and rededicate ourselves to upholding tribal treaty rights, attaining environmental justice, and making certain the well being of Puget Sound for future generations.” 

“The funding we obtained from EPA allowed us to conduct the analysis that led to the invention of the chemical, 6PPD-Q, that’s killing coho salmon in Puget Sound’s rivers and streams,” mentioned Washington Stormwater Heart Assistant Director Lisa Rozmyn. “Though there are nonetheless many questions surrounding 6PPD-Q, EPA grants additionally immediately supported the work to discover a resolution to that toxicological disaster: Bioretention” 

“The Puget Sound area is main the way in which in our dedication to constructing salmon-friendly and people-friendly cities,” mentioned The Nature Conservancy Puget Sound Conservation Director Jessie Israel. “One among our best challenges is the presence of poisonous chemical compounds in stormwater runoff, however the excellent news is: nature-based options are an efficient device for cleansing it up. With federal funding on the horizon, we will get infrastructure proper for the following 50 years of the Clear Water Act, safe clear water, clear air, and a promise that individuals and nature can thrive collectively.”  

“Salmon-Protected is proud to be a accomplice with the EPA working throughout the area to resolve the disaster of stormwater impacts and water high quality that threatens marine life and endangers the survival of each salmon and orca,” mentioned Salmon-Protected Puget Sound Director Ellen Southard. “Working along with private and non-private sector companions we’re discovering options to mitigate the polluted runoff that impacts Puget Sound and escalating ocean acidification. This work is important to sustaining our lifestyle for indigenous folks, their livelihoods and religious well-being. It’s also an vital element to defending the 200,000 jobs in Washington’s industrial fishing and shellfish trade, which contributes over $14 billion {dollars} to the state’s financial system.” 

As EPA kicks off a tour celebrating the Clear Water Act, the company can also be collaborating with its companions to chart a course for the following fifty years of progress for clear water. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Regulation has offered a historic funding in water infrastructure, together with $12.7 billion by way of the Clear Water State Revolving Fund packages that have been established by the 1987 amendments to the Clear Water Act. This funding is a major funding in the way forward for clear water within the nation. And our investments in improved, resilient infrastructure may have constructive impacts on our waterways for years to return. 

Main as much as the fiftieth Anniversary of October 18, the tour will spotlight waters which might be important to wholesome folks, vibrant ecosystems, agricultural productiveness, and financial development. Stops will embrace the Florida Everglades, Chesapeake Bay, Nice Lakes, Cuyahoga River, and the San Francisco Bay.  

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