WASHINGTON, DC – 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. Bruce Speight, Environment Washington 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, the Trump administration is proposing to stop protecting drinking water sources for more than 2 million Washingtonians. It defies common sense, sound science and the will of the people of Washington State.
Clean water is vital to our ecology, our health, and our quality of life. There are so many threats to the health of Puget Sound and Washington waterways. Nationally, 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 with widespread public and scientific support, the Rule restored federal protections to 38,037 miles, or 54 percent, of Washington’s streams, which feed waterways like the Puget Sound and help provide drinking water to more than 2 million Washingtonians. The rule also protects wetlands, which help filter out pollutants and provide wildlife habitat.
More than 800,000 Americans – including 16,123 Washington individuals, business owners, local officials, farmers, and health professionals – all support 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.”
Environment Washington is a state-wide, citizen-based, environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water and open space. www.EnvironmentWashington.org.