Why the American West is fighting for water protections

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Not all rivers and streams are protected under the Trump administration’s new definition of “water.”

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For most of its nearly 50-year history, the Clean Water Act protected all US rivers and streams from pollution. But the Trump administration redefined the types of waterways that get federal protection, which affects some states in the arid West more than any other part of the country. The reason why has to do with the differences between certain types of rivers and streams.

For EarthJustice’s watershed maps:
https://earthjustice.org/features/maps-watersheds-dirty-water-rule

For more reading on the impact of the Dirty Water Rule:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/22/climate/trump-environment-water.html

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CORRECTION: In the intro, we incorrectly identified the locations of two Washington, DC-area rivers. At 00:12 and 00:15, that section of the Anacostia River runs through Washington, DC, not Maryland. And at 00:22 we incorrectly identified the Occoquan River as running through Washington, DC, when in fact it runs through Northern Virginia.
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