EPA Launches Tour of Iconic Waters Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Clean Water Act | US EPA – US EPA.gov | Gmx Pharm

SEATTLE (Aug. 5, 2022)– Today at an event in Seattle, Wash., Radhika Fox, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator for Water, along with Casey Sixkiller, EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Northwest, met Laura Watson, Director of the Washington Department of Environment, and local leaders the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Tour celebrating the Water Act.

“When Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972 with an overwhelming bipartisan majority, it blazed a new trail for America’s waters. As a result, we have seen transformational advances over the past 50 years, and many communities are returning to their waters,” he said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “Today, President Biden and Congress created the next historic opportunity to strengthen our waters with the largest investment in water through bipartisan infrastructure legislation, and the EPA is working with our partners to maximize progress now and for the next 50 years .”

“Here in the Pacific Northwest, our iconic waters are the lifeblood of our communities,” he said EPA Regional Administrator Casey Sixkiller. “We depend on them for so many things – drinking water, transportation and movement of goods, recreation, our culture and our way of life. Water defines us in many ways. The Clean Water Act fueled the Puget Sound National Estuary Program and our highly successful partnerships with state, tribal, local governments and NGOs. Together we have made great strides to protect and restore sound, and together we will continue this extremely important work.”

Five decades of implementation of the Clean Water Act have reduced direct discharges of contaminants into our nation’s waterways and improved wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. This work builds on a foundation of strong partnerships among federal, state, local and tribal governments, as well as industry, agriculture and nonprofit organizations.

Also attending the Seattle event were Laura Blackmore, Director of the Puget Sound Partnership, Justin Parker, Executive Director of the Northwest India Fisheries Commission, Lisa Rozmyn, Assistant Director of the Washington Stormwater Center, Ellen Southard, Director of Salmon-Safe Puget Sound, and Jessie Israel, Director from The Nature Conservancy Puget Sound, part.

While places like Puget Sound remain fishable and swimmable, there is still much work to be done to protect these resources. EPA and its federal partners are coordinating efforts through the Puget Sound Federal Task Force to better manage stormwater runoff and support the health of Puget Sound and the salmon population it supports.

“The Clean Water Act is critical to protecting the Salish Sea, tribal communities and everyone who lives in the region,” he said Justin Parker, Executive Director of the North West India Fisheries Commission. “Today we are celebrating real progress, but looking ahead we face greater challenges from population growth, climate change and pollution of our food and water. Although beautiful and vibrant, Puget Sound and coastal waters are also threatened by sewage treatment and toxin build-up. The EPA tribal partnership has made significant strides, but the environment is in crisis and our treaty rights are at risk. We need to build on our success, embrace the science, and urgently advance the protection of the Clean Water Act for the next 50 years.”

“Over the past 50 years, the Clean Water Act has been a powerful tool in protecting and restoring water quality in Washington,” he said Laura Watson, director of the Washington Department of the Environment. “A strong partnership with the EPA helps us conserve our state’s waters and create a healthy environment for our families, farms and communities.”

“The National Estuary Program, created under the Clean Water Act, supports collaborative local action to restore our nation’s estuaries,” he said Puget Sound Partnership executive director Laura Blackmore. “The program allowed us to work with hundreds of partners to create the 2022-2026 Agenda for Action, our plan to protect and restore the Puget Sound. Together we will restore habitat, improve water quality, protect our salmon and orcas, increase climate resilience and ensure human well-being. We celebrate the achievements of those who came before us and a renewed dedication to upholding tribal treaty rights, realizing environmental justice and ensuring the health of Puget Sound for future generations.”

“The funding we received from the EPA enabled us to conduct the research that led to the discovery of the chemical 6PPD-Q that kills coho salmon in the rivers and creeks of Puget Sound,” he said Lisa Rozmyn, Associate Director of the Washington Stormwater Center. “While there are still many questions about 6PPD-Q, EPA grants also directly supported work to find a solution to this toxicological catastrophe: bioretention”

“The Puget Sound region is at the forefront of our commitment to building salmon-friendly and people-friendly cities,” he said The Nature Conservancy Puget Sound Conservation Director Jessie Israel. “One of our biggest challenges is the presence of toxic chemicals in stormwater runoff, but the good news is nature-based solutions are a powerful cleaning tool. With federal funding on the horizon, we can get the infrastructure right for the next 50 years of the Clean Water Act, securing clean water, clean air and a promise that people and nature can thrive together.”

“Salmon-Safe is proud to be a partner with the EPA working across the region to solve the stormwater impact and water quality crisis that is threatening marine life and threatening the survival of salmon and orcas,” said Salmon-Safe Puget Sound director Ellen Southard. “Working with partners from the public and private sectors, we are finding solutions to mitigate the polluted runoff affecting Puget Sound and escalating ocean acidification. This work is critical to maintaining our way of life for tribal peoples, their livelihoods and spiritual well-being. It is also an important part of protecting the 200,000 jobs in Washington’s commercial fisheries and shellfish industry, which contributes over $14 billion to the state’s economy.”

As EPA embarks on a tour celebrating the Clean Water Act, the agency is also working with its partners to chart a course for the next fifty years of clean water progress. The bipartisan Infrastructure Act has provided a historic investment in water infrastructure, including $12.7 billion through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs established by the Clean Water Act Amendments of 1987. This funding is a significant investment in the future of clean water in the country. And our investments in improved, resilient infrastructure will have a positive impact on our waterways for years to come.

Ahead of the 50th anniversary on October 18, the tour will highlight water bodies essential for healthy people, vibrant ecosystems, agricultural productivity and economic growth. Stops include the Florida Everglades, Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, Cuyahoga River, and San Francisco Bay.

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