ANN ARBOR, MICH. (June 27, 2017)—Today the Trump Administration took the first step in rescinding a part of the Clean Water Act, which provides protections for 117 million Americans. The target of the rollbacks is the Clean Water Rule, which provides needed clarity for Clean Water Act protections and was finalized in June 2015 after months of public comment. This move by the Trump Administration creates uncertainty around which streams and waters fall under the protection of the Clean Water Act and which are exempt.
“With this rollback of the Clean Water Rule, the Trump Administration has taken another step backwards when it comes to protecting the Great Lakes,” said Todd Ambs, Campaign Director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “The Clean Water Rule provides drinking water protections for 30 million people in the Great Lakes region and regulatory certainty for businesses here as well. Repealing the rule threatens to pollute our drinking water and provides an unnecessary blockade to business development.”
According to a 2015 poll, 80% of voters nationwide support the Clean Water Rule and a majority of Americans think that the government should do more to protect water from pollution. Similarly, 80% of small business owners expressed support for the Clean Water Rule and the regulatory certainty it provides. The rule was initially needed because of two Supreme Court decisions that created uncertainty about which waters were protected by the Clean Water Act.
“The Trump Administration’s move today is counter to public opinion and common sense—we need to strengthen drinking water protections at the state and national level, not weaken them,” said Ambs. “The Clean Water Act is one of the bedrock laws that have helped restore the Great Lakes, which provide drinking water for 30 million people. In the wake of two high-profile drinking water disasters in Flint, Mich. and Toledo, Ohio, we can’t afford to weaken drinking water protections anywhere.”
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition consists of more than 145 environmental, conservation, outdoor recreation organizations, zoos, aquariums and museums representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Learn more at www.healthylakes.org or follow us on Twitter @healthylakes.