Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt proposed repealing the Clean Water Rule, which restored federal protections to half our nation’s streams and thousands of wetlands across the country. John Rumpler, Environment America’s senior attorney and clean water program director, issued the following statement:
"Repealing the Clean Water Rule turns the mission of the EPA on its head: Instead of safeguarding our drinking water, Scott Pruitt is proposing to stop protecting drinking water sources for 1 in 3 Americans. 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 are already seeing drinking water contaminated by algal blooms and toxic chemicals, and a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico that scientists now estimate will be the size of New Jersey this summer. The last thing we should do is weaken protections for our water.
"Finalized in 2015, the Clean Water Rule restored federal protections to half the nation’s streams, which help provide drinking water to one in every three Americans. The rule also protects millions of acres of wetlands that provide wildlife habitat and keep pollutants out of America’s great waterways, from the Great Lakes to the Chesapeake Bay to Puget Sound.
"More than 800,000 Americans – including more than 1,000 business owners, local officials, farmers, and health professionals – supported the historic clean water rule. On the other side, the most vociferous opponents of the rule include the oil and gas industry, coal companies, developers, and lobbyists for corporate agribusiness.
"We call on the EPA to reconsider this reckless repeal and stand up for our drinking water, not for polluters."