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Groups Criticize Proposed Clean Water Act Regulatory Changes

The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers want to expand the federal Clean Water Act by changing the definition of “Waters of the U.S.”.  A variety of groups in New York State are opposed to the move, saying it will harm New York’s economy and environment.

A coalition of New York business, conservation and municipal groups have joined with the NY Farm Bureau  in expressing their outrage and concern over a possible expansion of the Clean Water Act. They have written to the Office of Management and Budget about a rule change proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers. NY Farm Bureau Associate Director of National Affairs Kelly Young explains that stakeholders are concerned about what the change would mean.

New York Conference of Mayors Executive Director Peter Baynes says state and local governments already comply with the Clean Water Act.

The groups are also disturbed about how the change is being made - through a guidance process, that precludes any public input. NYS Association of Counties Executive Director Steven Acquario says the federal agencies are trying to advance a significant change outside normal protocols.

National Federation of Independent Business State Director Mike Durant says a new rule could increase costs across the board.

The groups are suggesting the public contact Congressional representatives to comment on the proposed changes to the Clean Water Act.  The new regulations could be issued at any time.