Small biz owners support EPA water rule, polls says

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) controversial plan to regulate small bodies of water around the country may have found some unlikely supporters: small business owners.

A new poll from the left-leaning American Sustainable Business Council released Wednesday found that 80 percent of small business owners say they would support provisions of the EPA's Waters of the U.S. rule.

“This national poll shows that most small business owners support exactly the same protection of clean water that the EPA has proposed in its Waters of the U.S. rule,” Richard Eidlin, policy director for the American Sustainable Business Council, said in a statement. 

“This makes perfect sense given the vital importance that clean water plays in running a successful business," Eidlin added. "Small business owners place a high value on clean water because they are concerned about potential damage to the economy from water pollution. They also believe that government regulation is needed to safeguard clean water.” 

This comes as other business owners, particularly farmers, have attacked the Waters of the U.S. rule, because they say it would subject them to unnecessary regulations that hurt their businesses. 

Many farmers say they are concerned that the EPA will use this rule to regulate farmers that have small creeks, ditches filled with water, or even puddles on their lands.

But the American Sustainable Business Council poll found that nearly two-thirds of small businesses say government regulation is necessary to prevent water pollution.

In fact, 71 percent of small business owners believe it is important for their businesses to have clean water, while 67 percent are concerned that water pollution could hurt their businesses.

The poll was conducted in June.