In 2015, the Obama administration finalized the Clean Water Rule, which included commonsense protections for streams and wetlands across the country.
The Rule was developed to clarify which streams and wetlands fall under Clean Water Act protections, a clarification that was sorely needed after years of legal battles over the issue. The Rule affirmed existing court decisions that in fact, these wetlands and streams do fall under the Clean Water Act.
The Clean Water Rule protects small streams that flow into drinking water sources for nearly 1 in 3 Americans. It also protects wetlands that filter pollutants from water, absorb floodwaters and provide essential habitat for wildlife.
This repeal is the beginning of a two step process. Following a successful repeal, EPA would then replace the Clean Water Rule with a set of rules that would substantially weaken federal pollution safeguards for streams and wetlands.Suggested comment: Dear Administrator Pruitt, I am writing to urge you to uphold the 2015 Clean Water Rule defining Waters of the United States (WOTUS) that are subject to protection under the federal Clean Water Act. Repealing this vital safeguard will put the health of communities throughout the nation at risk. I am concerned about our water and want to see the Federal government do more, not less to protect clean water. This repeal would eliminate protections for up to 60 percent of streams and wetlands nationwide and jeopardize the health of drinking water sources for more than 117 million Americans. The Clean Water Rule provides protections for 20 million acres of wetlands and more than half of the stream miles across the country. Clean water is essential to our health, vital to all communities, and necessary for a robust economy. We rely on these small streams for drinking water and these wetlands to protect our communities from floods. I oppose this repeal which will weaken commonsense safeguards that protect our water resources. The Clean Water Act has a very bold goal – to make all of our waters swimmable and fishable. Repealing the Clean Water Rule will make it much more difficult to achieve that goal. Please listen to the majority of Americans who expect EPA to protect clean water, not polluter profits. I ask that you strengthen, not weaken, safeguards that protect our water. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, ___________________________Please contact Gabby Queenan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like additional information or if you have any questions.