Clean Water Rule Repeal Confirms that EPA Will Keep Protecting Polluters

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Washington, D.C. -- Today Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, finalized the repeal of the 2015 Clean Water Rule. The Clean Water Rule clarified that millions of acres of wetlands and more than 60% of the nation’s streams were protected by the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Rule garnered more than a million comments from the public, with more than 80% supporting the rule. The Rule was also based on more than 1,500 scientific studies and represented the consensus of the scientific community.

Clean Water Action President and CEO, Bob Wendelgass, released the following statement:

“EPA gave corporate special interests exactly what they wanted -- the ability to pave over or fill in streams, wetlands, and drinking water sources without accountability. The public, our water, science, and the law got shoved aside, again. It looks like the Trump administration is going to continue to disrespect the law and sound science, so we’re exploring the next steps to stop this dangerous decision.

The Clean Water Rule was based on science, grounded in the law, and supported by the vast majority of the public. Only corporate polluters will benefit from ending the Clean Water Rule, but the harm will be widespread. Communities rely on wetlands to filter pollutants and absorb floodwaters; businesses like craft brewers and outdoor recreation companies need streams and wetlands to thrive, and the drinking water for more than 117 million Americans is fed by small streams. That’s all at risk now that EPA has repealed the Clean Water Rule.

As outrageous as this move is, it’s not an isolated incident, it’s part of a broader assault on basic protections for our water. While we’re planning the next steps to stop this repeal in the courts, we’re also focused on mobilizing as many people as possible to stop the additional elements of Trump’s dirty water agenda that we expect to see later this year.”


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration.

Michael Kelly