Newswise — A West Virginia University water expert believes there is good news in this week’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announcement repealing the 2015 rule that expanded the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. Jason Hubbart, director of the Institute of Water Security and Science at WVU, says the decision will put more control at the state level. 

Jason Hubbart audio file 

Quotes and Comments “On one hand it may seem like we are stepping back in time and ask ourselves if we are being diligent stewards given all the population growth and development that has occurred in the past 30 or more years. However, it is good to put these rulings back in the hands of the states that better understand their lands, the complexity of their lands, their state needs and how best to manage those needs for its people. States must thoughtfully manage upland waters and wetlands.”

“The greatest natural resource implications are to headwater systems and wetlands, which provide critical habitat for wildlife and support the nation’s drinking-water supply. In other words, the repeal lightens regulations for mandatory practices in those head water stream systems, and wetlands that are connected directly to streams by overland flow and supply fresh water for many ecosystem services including human drinking water.” 

“The repeal also means that farmers, land owners, and businesses will spend less time and money determining whether they need a federal permit and more time upgrading aging infrastructure, building homes, creating jobs, and growing crops to feed American families. This point is crucial for states like West Virginia and regions like Appalachia that face increasing demand for food and must tackle problems with food, water and energy security.” – Jason Hubbart, Director, Institute of Water Security and Science at WVU 

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CONTACT: Jason Hubbart Director, Institute of Water Security and Science at WVU Assist. Director, WV Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Professor of hydrology and water quality Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design (O) 304.293.2472 or (M) 573.293.9630; [email protected]

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