The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced last week that he is trying to undermine vital clean water protections once again, by re-opening the public comment period to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule. Earthjustice’s President, Trip Van Noppen, released the following statement in response:
“As EPA Administrator Pruitt’s recent slew of ethics scandals implies, he’s really good at cutting corners and protecting big corporations over your health. The Clean Water Rule is a commonsense safeguard that protects streams, wetlands and the drinking water supplies for 117 million people across the country and should be left alone. Earthjustice will continue to use the power of the law to fight back against these politically-motivated attacks on important clean water protections.”
Last summer, EPA began accepting comments on a legally flawed proposed repeal of the 2015 Clean Water Rule, but has not finalized the proposal. The agency then promulgated a rule attempting to delay the Clean Water Rule until 2020. Administrator Pruitt has also signaled his intention to replace the Clean Water Rule with a much weaker option designed to open the flood gates of pollution and hinder much needed protections for years to come. Now, the EPA has proposed a “supplemental” to the proposed repeal rule and is re-opening the public comment period.
Earthjustice represents Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Idaho Conservation League, and the Sierra Club in litigation pushing back against these rollbacks and fighting to strengthen the protections of the Clean Water Rule.