Protecting Streams and Wetlands

The Clean Water Rule

The Clean Water Rule was finalized by the Obama administration in 2015 after years of planning, hundreds of stakeholder meetings, and more than a million public comments. It safeguards our water and restores guaranteed protections to the kinds of streams that feed the drinking water sources for 1 in 3 Americans.

The Clean Water Rule is a strong, commonsense policy that makes clean water a priority throughout the nation. Sadly, now the Trump administration wants to eliminate this rule and replace it with a significantly weaker rule that will leave millions of acres of wetlands and potentially more than half of all stream miles unprotected from pollution and destruction from development, oil and gas production, and other industrial activities. This would imperil drinking water sources, as well as the small businesses and communities that rely on clean water.

FACT: The Clean Water Rule is grounded in strong science  EPA produced a report which reviewed more than 1,200 peer- reviewed scientific publications and confirmed that streams and wetlands are connected to downstream waters in significant ways.

FACT: The Clean Water Rule is popular and was informed by stakeholders and public comment, in addition to science. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers took comment on the proposal from April 21-November 14, 2014, a long comment period that itself followed years of public engagement. During the comment period, EPA met with more than 400 stakeholders and received more than one million comments, 87% of which were supportive of the rule.

 

Additional resources

  • Read our letter asking EPA to extend the comment period on its proposal to delay the effective date of the Clean Water Rule
  • Read the letter outdoor and sportsmen organizations submitted asking EPA to extend the comment period on its proposal to delay the effective date of the Clean Water Rule
  • Read about the missing science at the House Science Committee hearing on the Clean Water Rule by Jennifer Peters from Clean Water Action
  • Read about the truth behind the attacks on the Clean Water Rule by Jon Devine from NRDC
  • Learn more about the rollback of the Clean Water Rule
  • Read the letter urging EPA to engage in a comprehensive and robust process for its current Clean Water Rule rulemaking

Learn more about the Clean Water Rule – visit the EPA Web archive here.

Ken Kopocis, Former Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency testifies about the Clean Water Rule in front on the House Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment Hearing on November 29th, 2017