Virginia fishing outfitter to Senate: Don't trash clean water

Colby Trow of Mossy Creek Fly Fishing tells Virginia's senators that his business depends on clean water. 
 
Efforts are afoot this week in the U.S. Senate to undermine the 2015 clean water rule that protects America’s headwater streams from unpermitted development, and Virginia’s anglers are asking their state’s U.S. senators to oppose these ill-conceived efforts.
 
Two pieces of legislation are targeting the clean water rule, which garnered over a million public comments during the 200-day comment period last year and owns the support of 83 percent of America’s hunters and anglers. The first, Senate Bill 1140, would force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency to scrap the rule and start over from scratch, despite the exhaustive process the two agencies put in place to get the rule approved over the last several years. The second, a “resolution of disapproval” (Senate JR 22) would wipe the clean water rule out altogether and prevent future efforts to protect the waters vital to America’s fish and anyone who turns on a tap. 
 
"My business depends on my ability to take clients fly fishing on the Shenandoah River, Mossy Creek and surrounding spring creeks and mountain streams,” said Colby Trow, owner of Mossy Creek Fly Fishing in Harrisonburg. “The headwater streams protected by the clean water rule represent sporting opportunity for my clients and thousands of other anglers, not to mention the clean water they provide for all Virginians. We encourage Sens. Warner and Kaine to oppose any effort to scuttle the clean water rule and the protections it affords to the commonwealth’s headwater streams.”
 
The clean water rule simply reinstates the protections for headwater streams that were part of the original Clean Water Act of 1972. In the 2000s, a pair of Supreme Court rulings muddied the scope of the Clean Water Act, and protections for these important resources were lost. Earlier this year, after proving a scientific connection between small, sometimes-intermittent streams and the larger rivers they feed, the EPA and the Corps put the rule in place. 
 
“This rule is a common-sense solution to protecting one of America’s most important resources—our water,” said Steve Moyer, vice president for government affairs at Trout Unlimited. “Not only is clean water vital for our fish and our fishing, but it is imperative that it be protected for the benefit of all Americans. We oppose any effort to undermine this important rule that keeps our nation’s waters clean. And we hope America's anglers will ask the Senate to oppose any attempts to scuttle the clean water rule."
 
 
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