Statement on EPA’s Waters of the U.S. announcement

DENVER: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is moving forward with removing protections for Colorado streams and wetlands. 

“The EPA’s announcement today is alarming as it puts our precious waters at risk. Every Coloradan, and so many others from neighboring states, are dependent on Colorado’s healthy waterways. At the department, regardless of what happens at the federal-level, we’ll always be committed to the health of our waters. Healthy waters mean healthy Coloradans,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

“In the absence of federal leadership, we are going to do everything possible to protect streams and wetlands in Colorado. It’s sad that we have to step up in contrast with our federal government on something so basic as protecting our water, but we must,” said Patrick Pfaltzgraff, director, Water Quality Control Division.  

The roll back removes huge swaths of Colorado’s waters from federal jurisdiction, waters used by 19 states and Mexico. It’s estimated that almost 70% of our Colorado Waters could be impacted by this rule. Additionally, the change will impose significant burdens upon the State of Colorado. 

Earlier in the year, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and Colorado Department of Agriculture collectively rebuked the EPA’s proposed rule change. 

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