State Boosts Water Quality Regulations; Gives Special Status to Fossil Creek

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Beautiful Fossil Creek just northwest of Payson was given the status of "Outstanding Arizona Water" today by state officials, mandating that government must protect it from harm.

In a 3-1 vote, the Governor's Regulatory Review Council approved new state water quality standards that protect both Fossil Creek and the Tucson area's Davidson Canyon, according to a news release by the Arizona chapter of the Sierra Club.

Fossil Creek runs through some of the state's most treasured wildlands and was restored to full flow several years ago after Arizona Public Service decommissioned a dam.

From the release:

"We are pleased that the Governor's Regulatory Review Council approved this rule to protect Arizona's waters despite a last minute attempt to derail it by some mining interests, Pima County, Salt River Project, and other industry representatives," said Sandy Bahr, Conservation Outreach Director for the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon (Arizona) Chapter. "Adoption of this rule is an important step forward to provide stronger standards for water quality, helping to ensure that both the public's health and the quality of the environment are adequately protected."

This makes us want to go backpacking to Fossil Springs in celebration. -- Ray Stern

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