SELC: Eliminating clean water protections threatens Southern waters

The Clean Water Rule aims to make sure upstream waters don’t send pollution downstream. (© Beth Young)

Today was the deadline for filing comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed suspension of the Clean Water Rule, which safeguards streams, wetlands, and other waters that feed drinking-water sources for nearly 20 million people in our region.

“The administration’s latest effort to eliminate protections that keep our local waters clean without listening to the public or considering the impacts is just as illegal as its past efforts,” said Managing Attorney Blan Holman. “The suspension of the Clean Water Rule’s protections would be costly and dangerous. We cannot protect our families and our communities from polluted waterways and wetlands without commonsense safeguards. A future of dirty rivers and lakes across the South, threatening the health and safety of our kids and our way of life, is unacceptable.”

The Clean Water Rule, the result of a multi-year process of public and scientific input, clarifies which bodies of water are protected by the landmark Clean Water Act. The rule affirmed crucial protections for more than 60 percent of our nation’s streams—streams that are critical to the South’s special natural resources and $12 billion tourism industry. The current administration is in the midst of a multi-front effort to eliminate these basic clean-water safeguards, including suspending the Clean Water Rule’s protections. Without protections provided by the Clean Water Act, industrial operations, sewage-treatment facilities, and other polluters may be able to directly dump into these waterways without any public notice, threatening drinking-water supplies, and harming families and communities.

The full comments from SELC and a coalition of organizations that share a common commitment to clean water and healthy wetlands are available here.

More News

Federal court throws out pipeline’s Forest Service approval

Today the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a federal approval for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests and part of th...

Looking ahead to major energy decisions in 2019, Georgians demand Fair Energy Now

High power bills burden many Georgia families, but few know why that is or what they can do about it. To change that, SELC, Georgia Interfaith P...

Op-ed: Why we support the Chemours consent order

Senior Attorney Geoff Gisler and Cape Fear Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette laid out their case for settlement over GenX contamination in a piece publis...

SELC sues to stop seismic blasting in the Atlantic

Southern Environmental Law Center attorneys today joined a coalition of conservation groups in filing a lawsuit to stop the Trump administration...

Administration announces plan to gut clean water protections

Today the Environmental Protection Agency released a new proposal that, if approved, would remove clean water protections that have been in place...

Virginia officials reject Dominion IRP and ACP construction halted

Today the Virginia State Corporation Commission issued an order rejecting Dominion Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan, which lays out the utility’...

More Stories