Policy Pulse: EPA Finalizes Repeal of Clean Water Rule

  • News
Getting water from a faucet

In September, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its repeal of the Clean Water Rule, thereby weakening Clean Water Act protections for small tributary streams and millions of acres of wetlands nationwide. Repealing the Clean Water Rule leaves streams, wetlands, and drinking water supplies vulnerable to pollution.

What’s worse, EPA is developing a replacement regulation that would be even more detrimental to water quality. The new regulation, proposed in December 2018, would eliminate Clean Water Act protections for many streams that do not run continuously all year. This means federal limits on discharging pollution into these streams would no longer apply, jeopardizing the safety of drinking water supplies for 1 in 3 Americans.

The proposed replacement regulation would also strip protections from all wetlands that do not 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.

Get more information and see which streams may lose protection in some areas of the country