DENVER: The EPA published the Waters of the United States Rule today. The rule eliminates many federal protections for waters in Colorado that Colorado and many other states rely on– leaving water, transportation, flood control, energy, and other projects in disarray.
“This rule will negatively impact Colorado’s economy and environment,” said John Putnam, director, Environmental Programs. “Once again, Colorado and its sister states will need to step in to address EPA’s failure to comply with the Clean Water Act and other laws.
Last year, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment warned against the EPA’s proposed rule change. The public comments are attached.
This rule threatens huge swaths of Colorado’s waters; waters used by 19 states and Mexico that Colorado is obligated to protect. It’s estimated that almost 70% of Colorado Waters could be impacted by this rule.
“With this action, the federal government has left us with an environmental protection and economic recovery gap. It is now up to the state to provide the necessary protection of both Colorado’s economy and the environment. We are going to do everything we can, while also addressing the impacts from COVID-19, to ensure Coloradans live in the healthy state they deserve,” said Patrick Pfaltzgraff, director, Water Quality Control Division.