Press Release

EPA Strikes First of Two Blows Against Clean Water


EPA Strikes First of Two Blows Against Clean Water
Izaak Walton League Opposes Repeal of Clean Water Rule

Gaithersburg, MD – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its repeal of the Clean Water Rule, removing Clean Water Act protections for small tributary streams and millions of acres of wetlands nationwide. The Izaak Walton League believes that full implementation of the Clean Water Rule is necessary to protect water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and our economy.

Repealing the Clean Water Rule wipes away federal protection and leaves streams, wetlands, and drinking water supplies vulnerable to pollution.

“EPA’s decision to repeal the Clean Water Rule is wholly unsupported by science, can’t be squared with the clear intent of the Clean Water Act, and fails the common-sense test,” said IWLA Executive Director Scott Kovarovics. “To make matters worse, this is only a first step. EPA will finalize a new rule later this year that will further undermine protections for small streams, wetlands, and drinking water supplies across America.”

As if repealing the Clean Water Rule wasn’t bad enough, the Environmental Protection Agency is also considering a replacement regulation that would be even worse for water quality. The new regulation, which was proposed in December 2018, would eliminate Clean Water Act protections for many streams that do not run continuously all year. EPA estimates that these streams flow into drinking water supplies for 1 in 3 Americans.

EPA’s proposed regulation would also strip protections from all wetlands that don’t have a continuous surface connection to a larger river or lake. This means that millions of acres of wetlands, including prairie potholes – which provide vital nesting habitat for North America’s waterfowl – will lose the strongest set of protections aimed at preventing their destruction.

For more information and to see which streams may lose protection in some areas of the country, visit

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