BOSTON, MA. -- The Sixth Circuit on Friday put a temporary hold on the Obama administration’s recently-enacted Clean Water Rule, removing protections under the Clean Water Act for thousands of waterways and wetlands across the country. John Rumpler, senior attorney for Environment America, issued the following statement:
“For more than a decade, the courts left thousands of our streams and wetlands in a precarious legal limbo, vulnerable to pollution and development. Now they’ve done it again.
“It’s hard to reconcile this outcome against clean water with either the law or the science. The Clean Water Rule is backed by more than 1200 peer-reviewed scientific studies showing that smaller headwaters and streams are vital to the health of our rivers and lakes. The rule clearly passes the Supreme Court’s own test for Clean Water Act jurisdiction.
“Brewers, outdoor businesses, mayors, and hundreds of thousands of Americans rejoiced when the Clean Water Rule was issued, restoring protections for wetlands and streams that feed the drinking water sources for 1 in 3 Americans. But today’s ruling puts those precious waterways back into jeopardy.
“Given the strong legal and scientific basis for the Clean Water Rule, we’re confident the courts will ultimately reject all efforts to weaken or dismantle it. For the sake of our drinking water and our favorite rivers and lakes, that ultimate decision can’t come a day too soon."