Craft Brewers Oppose Proposal to Repeal Clean Water Rule

Today a group of 48 craft brewers sent a letter to EPA and the Army Corps opposing the agencies’ proposal to repeal the Clean Water Rule.

Today a group of 48 craft brewers sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opposing the agencies’ proposal to repeal the Clean Water Rule. These brewers, who are partners in NRDC’s Brewers for Clean Water campaign, are standing up for the rule because it protects the sources of clean water on which their businesses depend.

Here’s what they said:

Ms. Donna Downing, Office of Water, EPA

Mr. Gib Owen, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Department of the Army

Dear Ms. Downing and Mr. Owen:

We oppose any changes to the Clean Water Rule that would weaken the protections it established for critically important waterways like small streams and wetlands.  Our craft breweries depend on those waterways to provide the clean water that we use to brew our beer.

Beer is mostly water, so the quality of our source water affects our finished product.  Even small chemical disruptions in our water supply can alter the taste of a brew or influence factors like shelf life and foam pattern.  We need reliable sources of clean water to consistently produce the great beer that is key to our success.  Thanks in part to this important natural resource, the craft brewing industry contributes about $55.7 billion to the U.S. economy each year, along with 424,000 jobs.   

Brewers have been proud to support the Clean Water Rule since it was first proposed.  Because the rule helped protect the sources of drinking water for 117 million Americans from pollution and destruction, it provided certainty that we would continue to have access to the clean water on which our livelihoods depend.  Importantly, the rule was based on sound science.  The record supporting the rule showed unequivocally that the waters it protected had biological, chemical, and physical connections to larger downstream waterways.

In a February 28 executive order, President Trump directed your agencies to review the Clean Water Rule and rescind or revise it, without providing any rational justification for doing so.  Your agencies have now formally proposed to repeal the rule, with the stated intent of later adopting a replacement.  We strongly oppose any rollbacks from ensuring guaranteed protections for all waters that the science shows to be important to downstream water quality. 

We understand that the president directed your agencies to develop the new rule under a different legal test.  That test has no scientific basis and would eliminate guaranteed safeguards for countless wetlands, as well as innumerable streams that don’t flow year-round.  We oppose that approach because it would fail to preserve water quality and was rejected by a majority of the Supreme Court.

We are depending on you to maintain or strengthen the safeguards established under the Clean Water Rule.  Protecting clean water is central to our long-term business success.  Thank you for considering our views on this important matter.


Allagash Brewing Company (Maine)
Andersonville Brewing Co. (Illinois)
Arbor Brewing Company (Michigan)
Avery Brewing Company (Colorado)
Bang Brewing (Minnesota)
Bar Hygge/Brewery Techne (Pennsylvania)
Baxter Brewing Co. (Maine)
Brewery Vivant (Michigan)
DryHop Brewers (Illinois)
Earth Bread + Brewery (Pennsylvania)
Engrained Brewing Company (Illinois)
Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery (Illinois)
Flying Mouse Brewery (Virginia)
Founders Brewing Company (Michigan)
Fremont Brewing (Washington)
Great Lakes Brewing Company (Ohio)
Half Acre Beer Company (Illinois)
Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. (California)
Harmony Brewing Company (Michigan)
Hops & Grain Brewing (Texas)
Hopworks Urban Brewery (Oregon)
Horse & Dragon Brewing Company (Colorado)
Intersect Brewing (Colorado)
La Birreria (New York)
Lagunitas Brewing Company (California)
Lakefront Brewery (Wisconsin)
Lost Rhino Brewing Company (Virginia)
Maine Beer Company (Maine)
McClellan’s Brewing Company (Colorado)
New Belgium Brewing Company (Colorado)
Oak Park Brewing Co. (Illinois)
Odell Brewing Company (Colorado)
Old Bust Head Brewing Company (Virginia)
Pateros Creek Brewing (Colorado)
Revolution Brewing (Illinois)
Right Brain Brewery (Michigan)
Rising Tide Brewing Company (Maine)
Saint Benjamin Brewing Co. (Pennsylvania)
Short’s Brewing Company (Michigan)
Sleepy Dog Brewery (Arizona)
Smartmouth Brewing Company (Virginia)
Smuttynose Brewing Co. (New Hampshire)
Snowbank Brewing (Colorado)
Starr Hill Brewery (Virginia)
SweetWater Brewing Company (Georgia)
Temperance Beer Co. (Illinois)
Two Brothers Brewing Company (Illinois)
Wild Onion Brewery (Illinois)

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