Over 100 Public Leaders, Business Owners, Local Farmers Call for Protections for Colorado’s Rivers

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Here’s the release from Environment Colorado (Patrick Stelmach):

State Senator Lucia Guzman, Commerce City Mayor Pro Tem Dominick Moreno, Dvorak Expeditions owner Bill Dvorak, and Confluence Kayaks owner Alex Manzo joined Environment Colorado at the Colorado State Capitol to call on President Barack Obama to restore Clean Water Act protections to the Colorado River and waterways across Colorado and the country.

Together, they delivered to James Martin, EPA Regional Administrator of Region 8, letters signed by 117 elected officials, farmers, and outdoor recreation businesses across Colorado who strongly support moving forward to permanently restore protections to these waterways, for the 40th anniversary of the landmark Clean Water Act.

“To be able to truly celebrate forty years of cleaner water, we need to protect all our treasured rivers – the Colorado, the South Platte, the Arkansas and the Cache la Poudre – by restoring the Clean Water Act,” said Patrick Stelmach, Field Organizer with Environment Colorado. “The good news is that President Obama has started taking us down the road to cleaner water. Now he needs to tie a bow on the clean water present for all Americans.”

The South Platte River is cherished by millions in Denver and across Colorado. Coloradans depend on it as a major source of drinking water for the Eastern part of the state, and for kayaking and fishing. Furthermore, all Coloradans need clean water for drinking water, fishing, swimming, agriculture, and recreation.

As the Clean Water Act turns forty, it faces severe limitations. In fact, due to several poor Supreme Court decisions over the past decade, 62% percent of Colorado’s streams and 3.7 million Coloradans’ drinking water are at risk of pollution.

“As a Colorado State Senator, I know that my constituents need clean water for drinking water, fishing, swimming, agriculture, recreation, and the wellbeing of their communities,” said Senator Lucía Guzmán, Senate District 34.

The event comes at another key moment for the Clean Water Act: President Obama has proposed guidelines to restore critical Clean Water Act protections to these waters and now is considering finalizing them and making them permanent.

“The time is now for President Obama to restore Clean Water Act protections,” Commerce City Mayor Pro Tem Dominick Moreno said. “The people standing with me today and who signed these letters show that people in Colorado want their water clean, and they want all of Colorado’s rivers, streams and creeks protected from pollution for many years to come.

Environment Colorado also rallied in Colorado Springs yesterday. Here’s a release from the organization via The Pueblo Chieftain:

Environment Colorado staged a rally Thursday at Colorado Springs City Hall to encourage President Barack Obama to restore permanent protection of rivers under the Clean Water Act.

The group has presented 117 letters to Obama, signed by elected officials, farmers, and recreational business owners across Colorado who support moving forward to permanently restore protections to these waterways, for the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.

Several Arkansas River outfitters and former Pueblo City Councilman Ray Aguilera were among those signing a letter to Obama.

“To be able to truly celebrate 40 years of cleaner water, we need to protect the Arkansas River by restoring the Clean Water Act,” said Virginia Shannon, field organizer with Environment Colorado.

Environment Colorado believes the act faces severe limitations, due to U.S. Supreme Court decisions over the past decade, and claims 68 percent of Colorado’s streams and 3.7 million Coloradans’ drinking water are at risk of pollution.

Obama has proposed guidelines to restore critical Clean Water Act protections, Shannon said.

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