Statement: House votes to weaken the Clean Water Act

Media Contacts
John Rumpler

Senior Director, Clean Water for America Campaign and Senior Attorney, Environment America

Huron River, Ann Arbor, MI

Dirty water resolution would endanger America’s waterways

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Thursday to repeal the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule that protects many of the nation’s wetlands and streams under the Clean Water Act. President Biden has vowed to veto the repeal measure.

The EPA’s rule officially retired the Trump administration’s so-called “Dirty Water Rule,” which had provoked widespread public opposition and was criticized by the EPA’s own science advisors at the time it was enacted. 

Environment America has worked for decades to ensure that all of our waterways are protected by the  Clean Water Act — issuing research reports, generating public comments and organizing the support of businesses, doctors and local leaders. Environment America has also participated in litigation to defend the Clean Water Act.

In response to the House vote, John Rumpler, senior director of Environment America Clean Water campaigns, said: 

“Americans cherish clean water. From a favorite stream for fishing to the water flowing from our kitchen sinks, we all depend on clean water to survive and thrive. 

Yet 227 representatives just voted against restoring Clean Water Act protections to many of America’s remaining wetlands, and to streams that millions of Americans rely on for drinking and recreation. Their dirty water resolution comes even as a new scientific study shows the importance of wetlands in protecting our rivers, lakes and bays from pollution. Small streams help provide drinking water to millions of Americans. Wetlands filter out pollutants, provide vital wildlife habitat and protect our communities from flooding in a climate-changed world.

With residents of northeast Ohio alarmed about what’s in their water after the toxic train disaster in East Palestine, Congress should be doing everything they can to protect clean water. We will not rest until all of America’s waterways get the protection they deserve.”