Clean Water Action: Reversing the Dirty Water Rule is a good first step, but we must also strengthen water protections

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Washington DC -- Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) announced a proposal to reverse the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which eliminated Clean Water Act protections for interstate waters and for certain types of streams and wetlands.

Jennifer Peters, Clean Water Action’s Water Programs Director, released the following response:

“Today’s announcement is a welcome first step toward better protecting water quality across the country. Now the Administration must act swiftly to strengthen safeguards for the many streams and wetlands that remain at risk of being polluted or destroyed. Rivers, lakes, and drinking water sources are only as clean as the smallest streams that flow into them. In order to fulfill the promise of the almost 50-year-old Clean Water Act, the Administration must finalize a robust policy that ensures all communities have clean drinking water sources and water bodies that are safe for swimming and fishing.”

EPA and the Army are proposing to revert to the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the U.S” that was in place for decades. The agencies are also planning to follow today’s proposal with a future proposal that builds on the pre-2015 definition.

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Since the organization’s founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking, and people power to the table. www.cleanwater.org

Michael Kelly
202-895-0420 x 103
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