The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a proposal yesterday that critics say would expand the reach of the Clean Water Act to cover most creeks and wetlands across the country.
The EPA says the rule would not broaden its jurisdiction. It says the rule just clarifies that most seasonal and rain-dependent streams are protected, as are wetlands near streams. The agency’s website says it does not cover ditches or groundwater. The EPA plans a 90-day public outreach tour to explain the rule.
The EPA’s emphasis is on protecting seasonal waterways, which is a big issue in arid Western states. But Sen. Lisa Murkowski says it would have a large impact on Alaska, too, because the state has abundant wetlands. She says the rule could effectively give the federal government control over most of the state, threatening access and development.
Watch EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s overview of the rule:
- - Juneau firefighters remembered those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
- - The skull belonged to a female Native American at least 40 years of age and likely dates to before the 1700s.
- October 4, 2015- Crayfish are originally from the Pacific Northwest and as with many invasive species, it’s anyone’s guess how they got to Kodiak.
- October 4, 2015- The expansion would offer a better and more reliable Internet connection throughout the YK Delta and much of Western Alaska.