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Adam Garber,
PennEnvironment
Stephanie Wein,
PennEnvironment

Statement on President Trump's Executive Order about the Waters of the U.S.

Immediate Release

“President Trump's order turns the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency on its head: Instead of protecting the drinking water sources for 1 in 3 Americans, he is telling the EPA to stop protecting these waters from polluters. It defies common sense, sound science and the will of the American people,” Adam Garber, PennEnvironment Deputy Director

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Trump signed an executive order instructing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its defense of the clean water rule in federal court. PennEnvironment Deputy Director issued the following statement:

President Trump's order turns the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency on its head: Instead of protecting the drinking water sources for 1 in 3 Americans, he is telling the EPA to stop protecting these waters from polluters. It defies common sense, sound science and the will of the American people.

Clean water is vital to our ecology, our health, and our quality of life.  We depend on our rivers and streams for safe drinking water.

That is why more than 30,000 Pennsylvanians – including more than 200 business owners, local officials, farmers, and health professionals – all supported the historic clean water rule.  

In fact, 79 local officials and 234 businesses recently joined PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center and its sister organizations across the country on amicus briefs in defense of the Rule in court—including Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner. 

Finalized in 2015 with widespread public and scientific support, the Clean Water Rule restored protections for and thousands of waters across the country – 49,000 miles of Pennsylvania streams, which feed waterways like the Delaware River, Schuylkill River and Three Rivers. These streams help provide drinking water to 8 million Pennsylvanians.

Polluters and their allies have sought to overturn the Clean Water Rule in court. And the Trump administration announced its intent to dismantle the Rule in a statement shortly after inauguration day. Today’s executive order instructs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to move forward with a new rulemaking that would remove protections restored under the Clean Water Rule.   The order also instructs the agency to stop defending the Rule – even to withdraw the extensive brief the agency already filed with the 6th circuit court of appeals.