President Trump unveiled his administration’s Dirty Water Rule, an attempt to eviscerate the protections guaranteed by the Clean Water Act. The Dirty Water Rule is the cornerstone of a multi-rule rollback effort by the Trump administration that ignores science and law in an attempt to dismantle public protections for water and reward polluters.
The administration’s move is expected to cut huge numbers of protected waters across the nation out of the safeguards guaranteed by the Clean Water Act. In one fell swoop, the administration plans to declare that a significant proportion of the streams, lakes, bays, lagoons, wetlands, headwaters, and more across the nation no longer count as “waters of the United States.” For those excluded waterways, federal protections under the Clean Water Act will no longer apply, and few protections will remain to stop polluters from dumping toxic byproducts into our waters.
The Dirty Water Rule will have serious impacts for communities across the country. Tens of millions of people rely on the Clean Water Act’s bedrock guarantees to protect their drinking water sources. Small businesses, families, and communities will all bear a significant burden from the increased pollution to streams and wetlands. Since 2017, several states have dropped their support for the administration’s pro-polluter water agenda. Everyone is downstream from someone, and the Dirty Water Rule will ensure that we can no longer count on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect water flowing into our neighborhoods, communities, and states from polluters.
The following is a statement from Janette Brimmer, an attorney in the Northwest Regional Office for Earthjustice fighting the Dirty Water Rule:
“President Trump’s administration wants to make our waters burn again. This all-out assault on basic safeguards will send our country back to the days when corporate polluters could dump whatever sludge or slime they wished into the streams and wetlands that often connect to the water we drink. We need to stop the administration and its corporate cronies before they cause another Cuyahoga River fire. Earthjustice will use every tool we have available to defend the Clean Water Act.”
Resources on the Trump administration’s litany of attacks on clean water protections: