Statement by the Southern Environmental Law Center regarding EPA's Notice to “Reconsider” Clean Water Act Coverage of Discharges of Pollutants to Surface Waters

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—The following is a statement by Frank Holleman, senior attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center, regarding EPA’s notice for comment to reconsider its previous statements regarding the Clean Water Act and Clean Water Act coverage of pollutants discharged through direct connections into our rivers, lakes and drinking water supplies. A pre-publication version of the Federal Register Notice on EPA’s website shows a signature date of February 12, 2018.

“This is the latest evidence that Mr. Pruitt and the EPA have become the agents of polluting industry. The Clean Water Act protects our rivers, lakes and drinking water supplies from toxic pollution discharged by irresponsible industries. Administrations of both parties for decades have made clear that polluters don’t get amnesty for dumping pollution into our nation’s waterways. The Clean Water Act is absolutely clear that this kind of dangerous pollution is illegal and political appointees at EPA don’t have the power to change it. Courts across the country from Hawaii to North Carolina have held polluters responsible for this kind of contamination of our waterways. Polluters have obviously run to Mr. Pruitt to protect themselves from the consequences of their unlawful pollution but the Clean Water Act stands and protects our country and our clean water despite what the polluters may think.”

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For more than 30 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has used the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. With over 70 attorneys and nine offices across the region, SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect our natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region. www.SouthernEnvironment.org

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