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Environment

Obama Administration Seeks To Close Loopholes in Clean Water Act

Hillsborough_River.jpg
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WUSF Public Media

Should pollution controls only apply to waters big enough to fit a boat?

The Obama administration doesn't think so and it has set out to close loopholes in the clean water act.

The White House is proposing new guidelines that Field Associate for Environment Florida, Jennifer Rubiello says will protect not only the Hillsborough and the St. Johns River, but also creeks, streams and tributaries that flow into larger bodies of water.

“The loopholes that were created from a couple of Supreme Court decisions, these loopholes have to do with what's interpreted as navigable waters,” Rubiello said. “So currently, only waterways that are navigable are protected under the clean water act.”

The EPA estimates that 117 million Americans get at least part of their drinking water from small streams.

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