Polluters have been quick to take advantage of a Trump administration rule that weakened protections for our nation’s waterways. But these protections could be on their way back.
On June 9, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would take steps toward repealing and replacing the Trump administration’s “Navigable Waters Protection Rule.” In effect since June 2020, the rule narrowed federal protection of water bodies under the Clean Water Act. Under the Trump rule, companies have won rulings that no federal protection applies for 758 out of 1,085 waterways examined by federal officials.
“By committing to repealing and replacing the Dirty Water Rule, EPA Administrator Michael Regan has taken a vital step for America’s rivers, lakes and bays — and for the drinking water of millions of Americans,” said John Rumpler, senior attorney and clean water program director for Environment America. “To prevent further degradation of our waters, we call on the administration to rescind this Trump-era rule in 90 days or less.”
Environment America is also party to a lawsuit filed during the Trump administration to overturn the Dirty Water Rule.
Photo: Environment America Clean Water for America Senior Director John Rumpler testified before Congress in support of clean water in February 2020. Credit: Corey A. Gray