January 23, 2020

Chairs DeFazio, Napolitano Respond to Trump Administration’s Devastating Rollback of Clean Water Protections

Washington, D.C. – Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA) responded to the Trump Administration’s announcement that it will rollback clean water protections included in the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s own documents, this rollback will eliminate clean water protections on between 18 to 71 percent of the Nation’s streams and river miles, and over 50 percent of wetlands.

“Another day, another attack on our clean water protections. The Trump Administration’s announcement that it plans to further dismantle environmental protections for streams and wetlands at the behest of industry is far from unexpected, but disappointing, nonetheless,” Chair DeFazio said. “The Administration claims this proposed rule will cut red tape, but at the same time concedes the rule is so complicated you’ll likely need to hire a consultant to understand if you are regulated or not. Today, Americans are more concerned about water pollution than at any time this century and should overwhelmingly reject President Trump’s war on the Clean Water Act that threatens the drinking water of 117 million Americans. All Americans deserve clean water. I’ll continue to fight this destructive plan in Congress and through my committee, because in the United States of America, access to clean water is a right that must be protected.”

“Today's action by the EPA to eliminate vital Clean Water Act protections is the latest evidence of the President's utter disregard and contempt for science. Winners are corporations and polluters. Losers are families, farmers, and taxpayers. The Trump administration’s final Dirty Water Rule will mean more pollution in our streams, especially those that don’t flow all year long. This is especially harmful in the Western United States, including my home state of California, where many of our residents get their water from streams that only flow following major storm events. The Trump Administration, which has made dismantling the Clean Water Act a priority, is now allowing polluters to dump into these streams without consideration of the health and safety of American families or any accountability. The burden of cleaning up that water before it gets to the tap will be placed on our water agencies, and the bill will be passed on to local taxpayers. This is extremely costly, stupid, and wrong,” said Chair Napolitano.

For more information on the impacts of the Clean Water Protections rollback, read a background memo from the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Majority Staff here.