Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveils its proposed replacement for the Clean Water Rule. The new rule would drastically roll back Clean Water Act protections from vast networks of streams and wetlands across the country. Bart Johnsen-Harris, clean water advocate for Environment America, issued the following statement:
“The ‘Dirty Water Rule’ is the most extreme attack on clean water in recent memory. This outrageous proposal upends the core mission of the EPA: protecting human health and the environment.
“The health of America’s rivers, lakes and bays depends on the streams that feed them and the wetlands that filter out pollution. Stripping protections from these waterways would put the drinking water sources for up to 117 million Americans at risk of pollution. From the Great Lakes to the Chesapeake Bay to Puget Sound, this rule would jeopardize our most iconic waterways.
“The Dirty Water Rule would significantly weaken the Clean Water Act, the bedrock environmental law that has protected and restored more than half our nation’s streams and millions of acres of wetlands since 1972 by setting enforceable limits on pollution.
“The Dirty Water Rule being proposed to today would replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule, which restored federal protections to more than half our nation’s streams and millions of acres of wetlands.”
“As stewards of our environment, it is our moral obligation to protect our country’s waters. For the sake of our ecosystem, our way of life, and even our own drinking water, we must stop EPA from opening our waters to polluters.”