AMIGOS BRAVOS RAFFLE FOR THE RIO!!!
It's time for the Amigos Bravos Annual Raffle for the Rio! The Raffle for the Rio is our single largest annual fundraiser. The success of the raffle depends on you! Have a chance at winning 3 amazing prizes: an acre of enchanted land in northern New Mexico, 7 nights for two people in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, or $3,000 cash! Raffle tickets cost $25 for 1 ticket, or $100 for 5 tickets. To purchase tickets, go to:
This year YOU could be the winner!
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY FINALIZES
CLEAN WATER RULE
THIS IS CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION!
Over the past decade Amigos Bravos has put countless hours advocating for the restoration of Clean Water Act protections to New Mexico waters. We are pleased to report that in an historic step for the protection of clean water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) last week finalized the CLEAN WATER RULE, which will clearly protect from pollution and degradation the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation's water resources.
The rule clarifies that ephemeral and intermittent waters are protected under the Clean Water Act. These protections had been in question since Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 weakened the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. In New Mexico, where over 90% of the waters in the state are either ephemeral or intermittent, the restoration of these protections is critically important for clean water. This rule is also essential for protecting New Mexico's wildlife as an estimated 20% of New Mexico's animal species depend on ephemeral or intermittent waters for survival.
People need clean water for health. About 117 million Americans - one in three people - get drinking water from streams that lacked clear protection before the Clean Water Rule. In New Mexico, at least 280,000 people get drinking water from streams that lacked clear protection. America's cherished way of life depends on clean water, as healthy ecosystems provide wildlife habitat and places to fish, paddle, surf, and swim. Here, in New Mexico, clean and reliable water is an economic driver, including for manufacturing, farming, tourism, recreation, and energy production. The health of our rivers and lakes is impacted by the streams and wetlands where they begin.
Protection for many of the nation's streams and wetlands has been confusing, complex, and time-consuming as the result of Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006. EPA and the USACE are taking this action to provide clarity on protections under the Clean Water Act after receiving requests for over a decade from members of Congress, state and local officials, industry, agriculture, environmental groups, scientists, and the public for rule making.
In developing the rule, the agencies held more than 400 meetings with stakeholders across the country, reviewed over one million public comments, and listened carefully to perspectives from all sides. EPA and the USACE also utilized the latest science, including a report summarizing more than 1,200 peer-reviewed, published scientific studies, which showed that small streams and wetlands play an integral role in the health of larger downstream water bodies. Amigos Bravos has actively engaged in all levels of public input and advocacy during this long public process. We have met numerous times with the New Mexico Congressional Delegation urging them to support the rule. Just recently New Mexico representatives Lujan and Lujan-Grisham both voted for clean water by voting against a bill that would have halted this bill. Amigos Bravos would like to extend a big thank you to both of them!
The Clean Water Rule only protects the types of waters that have historically been covered under the Clean Water Act. It does not regulate most ditches and does not regulate groundwater, shallow subsurface flows, or tile drains. It does not make changes to current policies on irrigation or water transfers, or apply to erosion in a field. The Clean Water Rule addresses the pollution and destruction of waterways - not land use or private property rights. Farms across America depend on clean and reliable water for livestock, crops, and irrigation. The final rule specifically recognizes the vital role that U.S. agriculture serves in providing food, fuel, and fiber at home and around the world. The rule does not create any new permitting requirements for America's farmers. Activities like planting, harvesting, and moving livestock have long been exempt from Clean Water Act regulation and the Clean Water Rule preserves those exemptions.
While this rule is a critical first step in restoring necessary protections to New Mexico's waters, it is still just that - a first step. Many waters that were historically (before 2001) protected, such as over 20,000 New Mexico playa lakes and waters in 5 New Mexico closed basins, are still at risk. Amigos Bravos will continue to advocate for the restoration of protections to these waters.
There is a strong dirty water campaign funded by special interests such as mining and big agriculture to stop the rule. We will need your help in stopping the inevitable attempts to reverse the rule through various legislative, budgeting, and political maneuvering. We will be calling on you to help support and encourage our Congressional Delegation to maintain strong support for this rule.
The Clean Water Rule will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
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