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  • Supervisors vote to support federal clean water legislation

    Aug 21, 2017 | Read More News
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    File: Arroyo with waterThe Board of Supervisors at its Aug. 21 meeting voted 3-1 to approve a resolution calling for Pima County to support the 2015 Clean Water Rule, which determines the kind of waterways covered by the Clean Water Act of 1972, including the Santa Cruz River and other ephemeral streams around Tucson and Countywide. Supervisor Steve Christy voted in opposition.

    The resolution takes issue with a February 28 Executive Order issued by President Donald Trump directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “rescind or revise” the Rule which would allow many kinds of pollutants to be legally dumped in washes across Pima County. 

    “For the Clean Water Act to protect our desert waterways, it must apply equally to waterways that do not flow all the time,” County Environmental Planning Manager Sherry Ruther said. “Just because a wash isn’t flowing doesn’t mean motor oil or other toxic substances won’t pollute our groundwater. In fact, it makes contamination more likely.”

    The Pima County Regional Flood Control District has shaped its Floodplain Management Ordinance to work in concert with the Clean Water Act to help minimize harmful impacts to watercourses and associated riparian habitat.

    “Without Clean Water Act protections, disturbances or alterations of washes and arroyos would likely occur more frequently and be larger in size” Flood Control District Deputy Director Eric Shepp said. “Those types of disturbances and encroachments reduce the natural floodplain function and increase operations and maintenance expenses.”
    EPA data show that Clean Water Rule extended drinking water protections to 117-million Americans - one in three people - who lacked it protection prior to the Rule’s passage.

    The vote allows the Board to meet an EPA deadline for public comment on the policy changes.

    For more information, contact Sherry Ruther at 520.724.6762 or by email.

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