President Trump Attacks Clean Water

By Jon Devine, Senior Attorney, Water Program, NRDC This was originally published here Today, President Trump signed an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to begin repealing the Clean Water Rule, a landmark measure many years in the making. Likewise, new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt recently told Fox News that he plans to go “full speed ahead” to attack the rule. The President’s order and Administrator Pruitt’s happy obedience insult all Americans―especially the 117 million of us who get drinking water drawn from streams the rule would help protect from pollution. Axios political reporter Jonathan Swan obtained and tweeted an image of the order as it is expected to read, which I’ve posted below. EO attacking Clean Water Rule — from Jonathan Swan We rely on clean water for drinking, to irrigate crops, for swimming and fishing, and as habitat for wildlife. Wetlands and other waters reduce flooding and filter pollution. Since 1972, the Clean Water Act, one of our earliest and most important environmental laws, has helped restore and protect our Nation’s waters. The rule aimed to ensure that water bodies that perform these essential functions warrant protection from pollution and destruction under the Clean Water Act. Although the Trump administration has targeted the Clean Water Rule for repeal, today’s action does not kill it. Repealing a rule requires a full public process. It has to be justified by the law and the evidence available. That’s going to be rough sledding for the new administration, because the rule relies on an extensive scientific record and its protections are easily consistent with...

Executive Order Takes Aim at Our National Parks; Threatens Clean Water for All

By Chad Lord, Senior Director of Water Policy for the National Parks Conservation Association Originally posted here. A little more than a month since President Trump was sworn into office, we have seen his administration take a series of actions to weaken or eliminate the very protections our parks depend on. These actions include eliminating protections for our waterways from mining, a hiring freeze making it impossible for the National Park Service to fill its more than 1,700 vacant, full-time positions, and orders that aim to eliminate or rollback safeguards for public health and the environment. And there is more. Today, President Trump signed an order that threatens the long-term health of the American people and our national parks. The order instructs the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to revisit the Waters of the United States rule, also known as the Clean Water Rule, which will likely lead to weakening protections for 60 percent of the water bodies in the country. The rule was developed to end confusion about which of our nation’s streams, wetlands, lakes and rivers — the source of drinking water for 117 million Americans — are protected under the 1972 Clean Water Act. The rule was developed after more than a decade of engaging the public in more than 400 public meetings with community leaders, farmers, ranchers, hunters, anglers, and state and local governments; yet the Trump administration seems determined to roll back this commonsense protection for our nation’s waters. There is no need to revisit, revise, or rollback this safeguard that only serves to ensure clean water for our kids, communities, wildlife, and parks. Luckily, revoking this...

What They are Saying about the Dirty Water Order: Elected Officials

Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Statement on Clean Water Rule Executive Order BOSTON – This administration needs to answer to the American people why it’s sidelining EPA’s public health mission and the law and putting our nation’s health, economy and our national security at increased risk. An Executive Order may give the illusion they’re fulfilling a campaign promise to gut the EPA, but it doesn’t “trump” a rule. Only a new rule based on a new record can make current rules go away. The only thing these orders do is make clear this Administration will defer needed public health protections for the American people for the sake of partisan politics. In fact, these EOs reflect the administration’s fear that the court will find the rules are necessary and legally solid – as EPA has said all along. They can’t change science and facts, the bedrock of the Clean Power Plan and the Clean Water Rule, to fit their campaign rhetoric. A Clean Water Rule Executive Order just continues to deny 117 million people in the US of the comfort of knowing the waters they rely on for drinking water are not being protected. And a Clean Power Plan Executive Order doesn’t stop the clean energy transition; it simply sends a signal to the business and international community that Trump would rather hand over our leadership on climate action to China. __________________________________________ NEW YORK A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN LEADS COALITION OF AGs OPPOSING PRESIDENT TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT GUTS CLEAN WATER PROTECTIONS AGs: “We Won’t Hesitate To Protect Our People And Our Environment—Including By Aggressively Opposing In Court President Trump’s Actions That...

What They are Saying about the Dirty Water Order – Environmental, Conservation, and Community Groups

Clean Water Action: Dirty Water in the White House; Polluter Crony at EPA Washington, D.C. – President Trump today signed an executive order to start the process to withdraw protections for some streams, wetlands and other water bodies that play a critical role in preventing floods, filtering pollution and feeding drinking water sources. Clean Water Action President and CEO Bob Wendelgass released the following statement. “This Dirty Water Order is dangerous, counterproductive, and ridiculous. It shows that President Trump is a snake oil salesman who used drinking water as an empty talking point to get votes. His Dirty Water Order will be a massive waste of taxpayer dollars and puts our nation’s vital water resources, including the drinking water sources for 117 million Americans, at risk.” “President Trump is clearly more interested in putting polluter profits first – earlier this month he signed away basic protections for streams  from coal mining waste and today he released his Dirty Water Order. The President and Scott Pruitt and Republicans in Congress don’t get it. We don’t get clean water by gutting protections for streams and wetlands, which are part of our water infrastructure. We can’t support small businesses by putting the infrastructure they rely on at risk of destruction. And we won’t protect public health by ignoring science.”   _____________________________________ BlueGreen Alliance Statement on Executive Order to Roll Back the Clean Water Rule WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 28, 2017) Today, President Trump issued an Executive Order rolling back the Clean Water Rule, which clarifies Clean Water Act protections that impact the drinking water supply of over one hundred million Americans. Following the...

What Scott Pruitt Means for Clean Water

By Jennifer Peters, Water Programs Director – Clean Water Action It’s no secret that Scott Pruitt, the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, is no fan of the Clean Water Rule (or any EPA regulation for that matter), commonsense safeguards to protect small streams and wetlands from polluters, including drinking water sources. As Oklahoma AG he led a multi-state lawsuit to sue the agency over the rule and has testified before Congress to express his opposition. In his written response to questions from Senators on the Environment and Public Works committee during his confirmation, Pruitt doubled down on his intent to gut these vital clean water protections: I do not support the WOTUS (Waters of the United States) rule and do not believe that it is consistent with the Clean Water Act. Accordingly, if confirmed, I will take appropriate steps, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, to withdraw the rule and replace it with a rule that is within the authority granted to EPA and the Corps under the Clean Water Act. Pruitt falsely claimed that the Clean Water Rule is not consistent with the Clean Water Act. In reality the rule simply restores protections for vital resources such as small streams and wetlands that were historically protected by federal agencies for decades after Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972, which included a clear directive that federal jurisdiction over surface water be as broad as possible. Polluters successfully brought controversial lawsuits before the Supreme Court in 2001 and 2006 that resulted in new loopholes that have made it difficult for agencies to protect small streams and wetlands from pollution....