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Business Leaders Endorse Proposed New EPA Clean Water Rule

The new rule will give the business community more confidence that streams and rivers will be protected, and provide a consistent regulatory system based on sound science.

Published 03-25-14

Submitted by American Sustainable Business Council

Today, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), which with its member organizations represents more than 200,000 businesses across the U.S., announced its support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new proposed rule for water safety. The rule clarifies the EPA’s regulatory power under the Clean Water Act, after two recent Supreme Court decisions threw some protections into legal jeopardy.

In a statement, ASBC said it supports the proposed rule because it will give the business community more confidence that streams and rivers will be protected, and provide a consistent regulatory system based on sound science. The following may be attributed to Richard Eidlin, Co-founder and Policy Director for ASBC:

“American business has always depended on the availability of clean water for its success, and EPA’s regulation in this area historically has been a prime example of the vital partnership between business and government. Whether a company is a food producer, a high tech manufacturer of silicon wafers, outdoor recreation guide or a beer manufacturer, businesses rely on clean water to produce high quality and safe products. Ever since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, the EPA has been charged with ensuring that our water supply remains safe.

“Today, we applaud the Agency for taking steps to clarify that small streams, wetlands and other tributaries are protected by the Act. Degradation and loss of wetlands or small streams can increase the risk of floods, threatening businesses. Moreover, dirty, polluted water creates unnecessary and sometimes very difficult economic challenges for communities and businesses alike. Today’s action by the EPA is good for the environment and good for business.”

ASBC member businesses and partners also commented on the proposed new rule.

“On behalf of the employee owners at New Belgium Brewing and our Alternatively Empowered culture, we offer a toast to 40 great years of the Clean Water Act and to the EPA and Obama Administration's leadership to make sure our water -- and our beer -- continues to be of the highest quality. We are thrilled for these incremental protections announced today that will help improve whole system watershed health,” said Andrew Lemley, Government Relations Director for New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO. 

“As a small business owner who personally experienced the negative economic impact of a recent chemical spill in West Virginia's Elk River, I know how crucial it is for strengthening EPA regulations to protect our waterways,” said Nancy Ward, CEO, Cornucopia, Charleston, WV.

"Water is quite literally the main ingredient for the foods we eat, and it is also central to the daily operations of our business.  Clean and protected water thus couldn't be more important to King Arthur Flour and our commitment to healthy foods and a healthy planet,” said Suzanne McDowell, VP of Human Resources, King Arthur Flour Company, Norwich, VT.  

“Protection of small streams and wetlands is critical for maintaining the health of our food supply, communities, and businesses dependent on clean water.  Used for livestock and crop irrigation upstream, and in food production, breweries, home kitchens and restaurants further down, the incalculable economic and social value of unpolluted water requires more than adequate safeguards and protections for a strong economy,” said Hilary Baum, Director, Chefs for the Marcellus, a campaign of food producers and businesses dedicated to protecting NYC’s regional foodshed.

The American Sustainable Business Council and its member organizations represent more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors. The council includes chambers of commerce, trade associations and groups representing small business, investors, microenterprise, social enterprise, green and sustainable business, local living economy and women and minority business leaders. ASBC informs and engages policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy.

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American Sustainable Business Council

American Sustainable Business Council

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) is a national coalition of mission-driven businesses, social enterprises and sustainable business networks working to create a vibrant, just and sustainable economy. What unites us is a deep belief that we must move to a new economy that is grounded in principles of sustainability and equity.

The Council represents over 55,000 businesses and enterprises and more than 150,000 executives, owners, investors, entrepreneurs and business professionals. It is comprised of partners, which are organizations that represent businesses and social enterprises as well as entrepreneurs, executives, owners and investors committed to building a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy.

ASBC promotes policy change by educating and informing the business community, policy makers and the media about the business case for change, and by engaging the leaders of businesses and enterprises in building broad support for the policies America needs. We work on a range of policy areas, including: financial reform, health care, chemicals policy, climate change and business taxes.

We believe that the policies that will lead us to a sustainable and just economy are also good for business and good for America. Making the right commitments and investments will produce more and better jobs, build strength in key technologies, and make the U.S. more independent and secure.

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