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John Rumpler,
Environment America

Attack on Clean Water Rule

For Immediate Release

“President Trump's order turns the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency on its head: Instead of protecting the drinking water sources for 1 in 3 Americans, he is telling the EPA to stop protecting these waters from polluters. It defies common sense, sound science and the will of the American people,” John Rumpler, Environment America

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Trump signed an executive order instructing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its defense of the clean water rule in federal court. John Rumpler, Environment America’s senior attorney and clean water program director, issued the following statement:

President Trump's order turns the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency on its head: Instead of protecting the drinking water sources for 1 in 3 Americans, he is telling the EPA to stop protecting these waters from polluters. It defies common sense, sound science and the will of the American people.

 Clean water is vital to our ecology, our health, and our quality of life.  We depend on our rivers and streams for safe drinking water.

That is why more than 800,000 Americans – including more than 1,000 business owners, local officials, farmers, and health professionals – all supported the historic clean water rule.  In fact, 79 local officials and 234 businesses recently joined Environment America Research & Policy Center on amicus briefs in defense of the Rule in court.

Finalized in 2015 with widespread public and scientific support, the Rule restored federal protections to half the nation’s streams, which help provide drinking water to one in every three Americans.  The rule also millions of acres of wetlands that filter and protect America’s great waterways from the Great Lakes to the Chesapeake Bay to Puget Sound. 

Polluters and their allies have sought to overturn the Clean Water Rule in court. And the Trump administration announced its intent to dismantle the Rule in a statement shortly after inauguration day. Today’s executive order instructs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to move forward with a new rulemaking that would remove protections restored under the Clean Water Rule.   The order also instructs the agency to stop defending the Rule – even to withdraw the extensive brief the agency already filed with the 6th circuit court of appeals.