Proposed Changes To Clean Water Act

From the rivers to the ocean, the waterways are a big part of Eastern Carolina life, and above all else, you want to know that they're clean and safe to use. A new proposed rule would clarify which types of bodies of water are protected by the Clean Water Act.

Some of the things that are unclear in the 40-year-old act have to do with streams and wetlands.

The purpose of the Clean Water Act is to protect bodies of water for the public to make sure they are safe for swimming, fishing and drinking. And a new rule would protect the small streams and wetlands leading to that water.

John Jacobson with the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation says, "Wetlands clean the river. They are very important in terms of fisheries because the striped bass come up the river and it's a nursery for a lot of fish species."

Fisherman Ernest Williams says, "I think we all have a genuine interest in keeping clean water and good fishing. It's a natural habitat that belongs to each and every one of us so we should equally have a part in keeping it that way."

There will be a period of public comment on this new proposal over the summer and then Congress will have the final say.