Clean Water Rule’s repeal opens Florida’s waterways to increased pollution

Media Contacts
Jenna Stevens

Environment Florida Research & Policy Center

St. Petersburg, FL — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) repealed the Clean Water Rule today, revoking the landmark 2015 environmental protections. The Clean Water Rule reestablished protections to drinking water sources on which 1,808,955 Floridians rely. The rule had the backing of more than 1,000 scientific studies, and was supported by comments from more than 31,000 Floridians.

Jenna Stevens, Environment Florida Federal Advocate, issued the following statement:

“By repealing the Clean Water Rule, this administration is opening our waters like the Hillsborough River to a flood of pollution. The EPA is abdicating its mission to protect our environment and our health.

As Florida faces increasingly severe water quality challenges,it is unconscionable that we’re jeopardizing the drinking water of one in three Americans — not to mention damaging the waters where we swim,  fish and that wildlife call home.

“This repeal will not go unchallenged. We are confident that this unprecedented rollback of the Clean Water Act will be struck down by the courts.

“Common sense dictates that we must protect smaller streams in order to preserve the larger rivers they feed. Without federal safeguards, it’s a cascade effect with pollution threatening the entire system that gives us our clean water.

“None of us want to return to the days when contaminated rivers burst into flames. Rolling back environmental laws to make that kind of pollution legal again is reckless and shortsighted.”

“This is the latest in a series of egregious, reckless and damaging rollbacks from the EPA. Today’s repeal paves the way for an even more harmful replacement rule in the coming months, which would exacerbate this tragic situation by opening even more waterways to pollution.”