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Senator Boxer Pushes for Clean Water Act Expansion

California Senator Barbara Boxer is pushing for a bill that she says will restore federal protection for waterways and wetlands such as San Diego County's Vernal Pools. From Washington Eric Niiler has the story.

The bill is designed to reverse two Supreme Court rulings that narrowly define the Clean Water Act as protecting only waterways that flow year-round. That leaves out two thirds of California's waterways, since they are only seasonal. Democrat Boxer says the rulings open the door for polluters.

Boxer: If we don't apply this Act, somebody's going to have to clean this up at the end of the day, if you find that polluters are dumping toxins into these previously covered waters.

The bill Boxer supports would expand the Clean Water Act to cover seasonal streams and isolated wetlands. It exempts regular farming activities. Congressional opponents argue the bill would disrupt development near any water, even backyard puddles.

From Capitol News Connection in Washington, I'm Eric Niiler for KPBS News.

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