Proposed Rules for Clean Water Act Spark Debate For the first time in 30 years, streams and wetlands throughout the United States could lose Clean Water Act protections under a proposal expected this week from the Bush administration. NPR’s John Nielsen reports.

Proposed Rules for Clean Water Act Spark Debate

Some Streams, Wetlands May Lose Federal Protections

Proposed Rules for Clean Water Act Spark Debate

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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. EPA hide caption

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EPA

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.