Blogs > Take Action > Don’t let the Trump EPA gut the Clean Water Act

Don’t let the Trump EPA gut the Clean Water Act


Photo: Jen Benson / Riverkeeper
View more images on our Flickr site

Upper Hudson River

Photo: Jen Benson / Riverkeeper

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to significantly reduce federal Clean Water Act protections for all but the largest rivers and lakes. The public has only until Wednesday, September 27, to comment on the Trump Administration’s attack on the definition of “Waters of the United States.” Make your voice heard!

Submit Comments Here >

Taking marching orders directly from industry wish lists, the Environmental Protection Agency would drastically and illegally exclude most water bodies in the country from Clean Water Act protections. If successful, the Clean Water Act would only apply to “large bodies of water capable of serving as pathways for interstate commerce.” Because pollution inevitably moves downstream, waterways and communities downstream from uncontrolled discharges will also become polluted.

We can’t let them succeed.

To protect the Hudson, we must protect the creeks and streams that feed it. Take action today to help us maintain strong federal protections for the Hudson River, its tributaries, and all waters of the U.S.

View sample comments:
I am writing to voice my opposition to the elimination of clean water protections for any water body. The Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to review and revise its definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) is an attempt to gut the Clean Water Act. It would allow industry to freely pollute water bodies, and lead to widespread degradation of waterways.

Clean water provides many benefits to communities, from safe, affordable drinking water, to recreation and jobs. Eliminating federal clean water protections endangers everyone. Without the Clean Water Act protections that have been in place for more than 40 years, states may allow powerful industry interests to pollute waterways, harming nearby and downstream communities.

Limiting the scope of the federal Clean Water Act also ignores two simple facts: that waterways are connected and pollution moves downstream. If a company is allowed to pollute or destroy a river, lake, stream or wetland, the impacts will be felt downstream – endangering people, fisheries and drinking water. Similarly, just because a stream may flow only seasonally does not mean it does not play an important ecological function, and destroying or polluting it will have widespread impacts. Therefore, I am opposed to any limitation on the scope of the Clean Water Act that would weaken protection of the interconnected waterways that make up the Hudson River watershed.

People and communities across the country will suffer if the Clean Water Act is gutted by EPA. Meanwhile, the costs of industrial pollution will be forced upon people and communities that will have to deal with the impacts on their lives, health and livelihoods. Reducing clean water protections by redefining WOTUS will not create jobs – in fact, it will imperil jobs that rely on safe, clean water.


EPA’s goal should be to provide the maximum clean water protections to all communities. I oppose any attempt to rewrite the WOTUS definition to reduce jurisdiction of the federal Clean Water Act from historic levels. I urge you to consider these concerns as you proceed.

Submit Comments Here >

Tell Gov. Hochul to block invasive species at the Erie and Champlain canals
Become a Member