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PNS Daily Newscast - September 29, 2020 

Trump tax revelations point to disparity in nation's tax system; Pelosi and Mnuchin make last-ditch effort at pandemic relief.

2020Talks - September 29, 2020 

Today's the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio. And a British news show reports a Trump campaign effort to suppress the Black vote in 2016.

NWF: PA Waters Like 'Arteries Without Capillaries'

May 20, 2009

State College, PA - It's like having arteries without capillaries. That is how a longtime aquatic biologist in Pennsylvania describes the potential danger for some streams, wetlands and rivers in the state - unless Congress acts to put some punch back into the laws that protect them.

Ed Perry with the National Wildlife Federation says two Supreme Court decisions dating back to 2001 have caused a lot of confusion concerning what waters in Pennsylvania and around the country are protected from too much pollution. Some smaller systems have fallen off the protected list, he says, even though they serve very important functions.

"They're absolutely critical for drinking water, for fish and wildlife habitat and for protecting downstream water quality and keeping our communities from flooding."

According to the National Wildlife Federation, the Clean Water Restoration Act coming before Congress would clarify which waters are protected and which are not. Business groups contend the legislation is thick with Washington bureaucracy and say the permits needed to comply would be costly and eat into profits.

For 30 years, the original Clean Water Act did an effective job protecting vital waterways in this country, Perry says, until the courts stepped in.

"Before that, there never was any question as to whether a stream or a wetland was under the Act's jurisdiction."

Perry says the issue itself is about natural resources and not politics, but it will take the political process to set things right.

"We have a different administration - one that is very environmentally oriented - and a Congress that is also environmentally oriented, so we now have a chance to reduce this considerable confusion."

More information is available from the National Wildlife Federation, 1-800-822-9919.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - PA