Clean water.

It’s an essential need for people as well as fish and wildlife. Here in Maine, clean water is also essential to our economy and our way of life. We have been asked by our God to protect all of Creation, and water is the essential source of all life.

That’s why I was disturbed to see the recent proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rewrite the Clean Water Rule, which defines the waters that are protected under the Clean Water Act.

Currently, the Clean Water Act broadly protects streams throughout the nation. In Maine, this attempted rewrite of the rule will not only open the door for pollution and development, but also jeopardize the best thing about Maine – our amazing places that people from around the world visit for recreation. Outdoor recreation brings $8.2 billion a year to our state, and $887 billion annually to the country. We should be maintaining our protections for clean water, rather than trying to remove them.

Maine has worked tirelessly over the last 50 years to restore and rehabilitate many of our rivers and streams that suffered from a lack of protection before the Clean Water Act. In fact, our own Sen. Edmund Muskie played an instrumental role in writing and arguing for the adoption of the Clean Water Act. It would be a shame to see those efforts undone by this shortsighted proposal to revise a key Clean Water Act provision and limit future protections. Unregulated development and pollution will surely follow.

Whether you’re an active outdoorsman, you love to float our rivers or you simply value clean drinking water, we can all agree that clean water is something that we all depend on to survive and for our quality of life here in Maine.

Let’s protect it.

Arthur Bell


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