Statement: EPA faces Dirty Water Rule backlash at public hearing

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON — In Kansas City, Kansas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold the first and only public hearing today for the Dirty Water Rule—the proposed replacement to the 2015 Clean Water Rule. Bart Johnsen-Harris, clean water advocate for Environment America, issued the following statement:

“This ‘Dirty Water Rule’ is an unprecedented assault on clean water, and Americans won’t stand for it. As EPA works to open our waters to polluters, today’s public backlash is well-deserved.

“The EPA’s proposed new rule has galvanized wide-ranging opposition, including from small business owners, sportsmen, and public health stakeholders who know the importance of clean water. Dr. Tim Fete came to the hearing in Kansas City from Columbia, Missouri to highlight the health problems he sees firsthand as a pediatrician. Vinny Valentino of Land Grant Brewing in Columbus, Ohio, made the trip to talk about the importance of clean water to his business, family, and community.

“The opposition we’re seeing in Kansas City speaks to a much broader movement. People don’t want our waters opened to polluters. As public comments roll in, the EPA should take the hint and stop this ridiculous rollback of clean water safeguards.

“Preserving federal protection for all our waterways is strongly supported by sound science and the American people. The Clean Water Rule had the backing of more than 1,000 scientific studies and comments from more than one million Americans.

“As stewards of our environment, it is our moral obligation to protect our country’s waters. For the sake of our drinking water, our ecosystems, and our way of life, we must stop the EPA from opening our waters to polluters.”