August 30, 2021 – Today, the the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona ruled in case brought forward by Earthjustice on behalf of six tribes and their members, that the Dirty Water Rule must be vacated as the rule has the potential to cause harm to waterways across the country. The Dirty Water Rule removed Clean Water Act protections from more than half of our nation’s stream miles and tens of millions of acres of wetlands and threatens the drinking water of tens of millions of people across the country.
Members and partners of the Clean Water for All Coalition have been working tirelessly to advocate for the repeal of the Dirty Water Rule and for the Biden Administration to put in place stronger protections for our health, communities, wildlife, and watersheds. There is still an open comment period to call for repeal of the Dirty Water Rule – please visit our Take Action page to learn more and add your voice!
Please see below for comments from our members and partners regarding this latest action.
“The court recognized that the serious legal and scientific errors of the Dirty Water Rule were causing irreparable damage to our nation’s waters and would continue to do so unless that Rule was vacated,” said Janette Brimmer, Earthjustice attorney. “This sensible ruling allows the Clean Water Act to continue to protect all of our waters while the Biden administration develops a replacement rule.”
During a public listening session on August 26, Clean Water Action Water Programs Director Jennifer Peters urged EPA to repeal the “Dirty Water Rule” put in place by the last administration immediately and to work expeditiously to clarify protections because “. . . every day the rule remains in effect, it threatens vital streams that feed drinking water sources and wetlands that protect communities from flooding.”
“The court’s decision to repeal the Dirty Water Rule is a victory for our nation’s waterways. From the Great Lakes to the Chesapeake Bay, streams and wetlands are vital to America’s supply of clean water. In particular, streams in the Southwest, which do not run year-round, help provide drinking water to millions of people. Beyond drinking water, wetlands filter out pollutants, provide wildlife habitat and protect communities from flooding.” – John Rumpler, Senior Attorney and Clean Water Program Director for Environment America Research & Policy Center
“The Dirty Water Rule was doomed from the start because it ignored the purpose of the Clean Water Act by threatening our communities with more pollution and flooding. People across the country should be grateful for the Tribal nations that took a stand against the Trump Administration’s reckless and brazen assault on the law protecting our critical waterways.” – Jon Devine, Director of Federal Water Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council