Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Erin Fitzgerald, Earthjustice–(415) 283-2323

Press Release

Trump Administration Announces Its Scheme to Make America’s Waters Burn Again

Dirty Water Rule attempts threatens protections for nearly one in every five streams.
WASHINGTON -

President Trump unveiled his administration’s Dirty Water Rule, an attempt to eviscerate the protections guaranteed by the Clean Water Act, at a speech alongside EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler at the Farm Bureau this weekend. The Dirty Water Rule is the cornerstone of a multi-rule rollback effort by the Trump administration that ignores science and law in an attempt to dismantle public protections for water and reward polluters.

The administration’s move is expected to cut huge numbers of protected waters  across the nation out of the safeguards guaranteed by the Clean Water Act. In one fell swoop, the administration plans to declare that a significant proportion of the streams, lakes, bays, lagoons, wetlands, headwaters, and more across the nation no longer count as “waters of the United States.” For those excluded waterways, federal protections under the Clean Water Act will no longer apply, and few protections will remain to stop polluters from dumping toxic byproducts into our waters. 

The Dirty Water Rule will have serious impacts for communities across the country. Tens of millions of people rely on the Clean Water Act’s bedrock guarantees to protect their drinking water sources. Small businesses, families, and communities will all bear a significant burden from the increased pollution to streams and wetlands. Since 2017,several states have dropped their support for the administration’s pro-polluter water agenda. Everyone is downstream from someone, and the Dirty Water Rule will ensure that we can no longer count on EPA to protect water flowing into our neighborhoods, communities, and states from polluters.

The following is a statement from Janette Brimmer, an attorney in the Northwest Regional Office for Earthjustice fighting the Dirty Water Rule:

“President Trump’s administration wants to make our waters burn again. This all-out assault on basic safeguards will send our country back to the days when corporate polluters could dump whatever sludge or slime they wished into the streams and wetlands that often connect to the water we drink. We need to stop the administration and its corporate cronies before they cause another Cuyahoga River fire. Earthjustice will use every tool we have available to defend the Clean Water Act.” 

 Resources on the Trump administration’s litany of attacks on clean water protections:

 What the Trump administration is doing to your water (Earthjustice)

 These Are States That Want to Make America’s Waters Burn Again (Earthjustice)

###

Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. We bring about far-reaching change by enforcing and strengthening environmental laws on behalf of hundreds of organizations, coalitions and communities.

Historic Tropical Storm Fiona Sweeps Homes Into Ocean in Eastern Canada

"Climate change leads to warmer ocean water at higher latitudes," said one Canadian civil engineering professor. "A warmer future increases the probability that more intense storms will reach Canadian coasts."

Julia Conley ·


Federal Judge Allows 'Untenable' Plan to Send Juvenile Inmates to Angola Prison

"The move defies all common sense and best practices, and it will cause irrevocable damage to our youth and families," said one children's advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'Catastrophic': Arizona Judge Allows 1864 Abortion Ban to Go Into Effect

"No archaic law should dictate our reproductive freedom," said one rights advocate.

Julia Conley ·


US Progressives Express Solidarity With Iranian Protesters After Death of Mahsa Amini

"The right to choose belongs to us all, from hijabs to reproductive care," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Julia Conley ·


Critics of Louisiana LNG Project 'Hopeful' as Huge Sales Contracts Canceled

"The fight is not over," says one activist, but "from tax breaks to pollution and now to these recent financial downswings, we have all the evidence we need to understand that Driftwood will be a parasite."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo