It's no secret that Montana's rivers and lakes are a huge part of what makes summer fun. Unfortunately, 63 percent of Montana's streams, responsible for feeding clean water to the waterways we love so much, are not guaranteed clear protections under the nation's Clean Water Act. For most states around the country, this changed on Aug. 28 with the implementation of the EPA's Clean Water Rule, which restored Clean Water Act protections to waterways nationwide. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, however, has filed a lawsuit against these new protections in Montana and has delayed them for the time being. Sadly, the delay of the Clean Water Rule in Montana means that over 100,000 miles of streams, and the drinking water of over 230,000 Montanans, remains at risk of pollution and contamination. That's why Environment Montana and our allies have campaigned for over a decade for this rule.
While the implementation of the Clean Water Rule around the U.S. is cause for celebration, these new protections have already come under attack in Congress. On Thursday, Senate Republicans—including Steve Daines—bent to the will of their polluting allies and introduced legislation that would completely overturn the Clean Water Rule.
We cannot let big polluters undo the biggest step forward for clean water in more than a decade. That's why we need Sen. Tester to continue his strong environmental leadership and stand up for the Clean Water Rule so that all of Montana's lakes, rivers and streams can be assured protection under the Clean Water Act.