Tell President Trump’s EPA to Keep Clean Water Protections

Posted on August 3, 2017 by

The Trump administration recently announced a major legal step toward repealing an Obama-era regulation designed to limit pollution in 60% of the nation’s bodies of water.

The rule, known as the Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, would have extended existing federal protections of large bodies of water (under the 1972 Clean Water Act), such as the Great Lakes, to smaller bodies that flow into them, such as rivers, small waterways, and wetlands. One third of Americans rely on these waterways for drinking water.

The EPA is currently accepting public comment, now through September 27th. Will you take two minutes to protect our waters by adding your voice? 

It is important to create comments that are individual and uniquely worded because they have the most impact. Freshwater Future encourages you to use the anecdotes, facts and figures, and examples that mean the most to you.

We helped make this easy by including a few key points below you can include. Submit your comments directly to the EPA by clicking here.

In addition to the talking points below, check out these individual fact sheets for the 8 Great Lakes States: Illinois, IndianaMichigan, MinnesotaNew York , OhioPennsylvania, and Wisconsin .

  • The Clean Water Act makes it clear that the EPA must “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.”
  • Before finalizing the Clean Water Rule in 2015, the EPA held more than 400 meetings with stakeholders across the country and published a synthesis of more than 1200 peer-reviewed scientific publications, which showed that the small streams and wetlands the Rule safeguards are vital to larger downstream waters. The rule was based on sound science, strong legal precedent, and a long and thorough public review.
  • Over 800,000 Americans and 1,000 businesses supported the rule during initial public comment periods.
  • More than 117 million Americans receive drinking water from sources that the Clean Water Rule protects (they draw supply from headwater, seasonal, or rain-dependent streams)
  • Wetlands protected under the rule cover 110 million acres in the continental U.S., filtering pollution from contaminated runoff and recharging groundwater supplies. An acre of wetlands can store upwards of a million gallons of flood water.
  • Small and rural communities, which rely on private wells or whose water systems lack the resources to deal with polluted sources, may be hit the hardest by the roll back.
  • The United States has seen an uptick in water crises in recent years, involving toxic algal blooms, dead zones, micro-plastics, industrial chemicals, oil, and lead
  • Clean water is essential to the outdoor economy. In 2011, hunters spent $34 billion, anglers spent $41.8 billion, and wildlife watchers spent $55 billion. Repealing the Clean Water Rule and weakening the Clean Water Act puts our economy at risk.


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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.