Streams and wetlands not connected to larger bodies of water could lose Clean Water Act protections under a proposal expected this week from the Bush administration.
The Environmental Protection Agency is about to issue a document that could make it easier to drain and fill prairie potholes in the Northern Plains, sinkhole wetlands in Idaho, Delmarva potholes in Delaware, pocosin wetlands in North Carolina, cranberry bogs in Maine and kettlehole bogs in Nevada and Arizona. Added together these disconnected waterways make up at least 20 percent of the country's remaining wetland areas.
Two years ago the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that at least a few of these isolated bogs and swamps are not protected by the Clean Water Act. According to NPR's John Nielsen, the EPA may soon decide that none of them are.