Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Washington, D.C. — Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled its proposal to replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule, also known as WOTUS. The proposal uses a very narrow, unscientific definition of water based on Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in the 2006 Rapanos v. EPA case. EPA’s proposal strips clear Clean Water Act protections from wetlands and other vital water resources.

Clean Water Action President and CEO, Bob Wendelgass, released the following statement:

“This proposal is embarrassing. It ignores established science, uses legal reasoning rejected by the two previous administrations, and is sure to be rejected by the vast majority of the public. It is a blatant attempt to help special interests achieve their decades-long goal of weakening the Clean Water Act at the expense of our health and our water. It’s clear that developers, pipeline operators, the oil and gas industry, and agribusiness are in charge of Trump’s EPA.

Donald Trump’s EPA under Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler can’t justify this proposal. That’s why it has ignored the rules and skirted the law from the start. This scheme is rotten to the core. It adds more confusion and is a waste of public money, especially now that the Clean Water Rule is the law of the land in 22 states. EPA should let the courts decide on merits of Clean Water Rule, not rush to replace it with the Dirty Water Rule.

This is the opposite of what the American people want. The only people who want this are the CEOs and Boards of development and fossil fuel companies and other special interests that will reap higher profits with weaker protections for streams and wetlands. Everyone will lose — the communities that rely on wetlands to defend them from flooding, the businesses that need clarity to know the water they use is protected, and the public whose drinking water sources will be at risk.

We’re going to fight this unconscionable giveaway to polluters and make sure the Trump administration knows it won’t get away with putting our water in jeopardy to help out a handful of corporate donors.”


Since our 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. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration and Congress.

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