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Citizens Ask for Protection of Local Waterways

January 12, 2012

Local farmers and politicians with Environment Virginia are asking President Barack Obama to keep our waterways clean. The group made their plea at Riverview Park in Charlottesville on Thursday.

Members say some of our area's seasonal waterways are not protected by government regulations and are therefore vulnerable to pollution. They want the Obama administration to clarify exactly which waterways are protected under the Clean Water Act, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

"The EPA is faced with a backlog of cases that they have to deal with on a case-by-case basis, which is incredibly inefficient in terms of time and resources and leads to many waterways just being neglected," said Ari Rubenstein.

Plus, as Rubenstein explains, those waterways feed into larger ones like the James and Rivanna rivers.

"The waterways that we're talking about are left open to unlimited, unregulated pollution. This could affect the drinking water of up to 2.3 million Virginians," he said.

Environment Virginia says the clarification is especially important for Albemarle County, as EPA statistics show nearly 100 percent of people in the county use water from the affected sources.

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