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Proposed Rules for Clean Water Act Spark Debate

The Environmental Protection Agency is about to issue a document that could make it easier to drain and fill prairie potholes in the Northern Plains, sinkhole wetlands in Idaho, Delmarva potholes in Delaware, pocosin wetlands in North Carolina, cranberry bogs in Maine and kettlehole bogs in Nevada and Arizona. Added together these disconnected waterways make up at least 20 percent of the country's remaining wetland areas.

Two years ago the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that at least a few of these isolated bogs and swamps are not protected by the Clean Water Act. According to NPR's John Nielsen, the EPA may soon decide that none of them are.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

John Nielsen
John Nielsen covers environmental issues for NPR. His reports air regularly on NPR's award-winning news magazines, All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition. He also prepares documentaries for the NPR/National Geographic Radio Expeditions series, which is heard regularly on Morning Edition. Nielsen also occasionally serves as the substitute host for several NPR News programs.