80 percent of small business owners favor restoring federal clean water protections to streams and wetlands, according to a new poll. These are some of the very waterbodies that the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers propose to protect in the Clean Water Protection Rule, which will determine what bodies of water are protected by the Clean Water Act, the nation’s principal safeguard against water pollution (you can read more about the history of this problem here and about how the proposed EPA and Corps' rule would solve it here).
Big polluters opened a loophole in the Clean Water Act several years ago that made it easier to dump waste in many waters without fear of repercussions.The proposed rule would close that loophole and return the Clean Water Act to its original purpose—to protect clean water in streams, wetlands, and other bodies for healthy drinking water, a strong economy and recreational benefits for everyone.
The small business owners in the poll released this morning understand the importance of clean water, with two thirds of the respondents concerned about potential negative impacts on their bottom lines from water pollution. The majority polled, despite political affiliation, believe clean water protections help spur economic growth.
These results are consistent with other polls showing strong support for clean water -- a 2009 Gallup poll found that water pollution was Americans' number one environmental concern; a June, 2014 poll of Ohio voters found similar results, with a solid majority supporting government actions to protect clean water, including restoring protections to streams and wetlands. The Latin Business Association, and its 800,000 Latino-owned businesses, also support restoring clean water protections, citing the regulatory certainty needed by their members.
Without clean water, our economy suffers - and small business knows it. Let's hope our leaders in Congress get the message as well and stop fighting these common-sense policies.