Army Corps Gives Free Pass to Pollute Waterways

WASHINGTON  – The Army Corps of Engineers issued nationwide permits that would make it easier to pollute or destroy many water bodies.

The following is a statement from Jon Devine, the director of federal water policy at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

“In one of its final gasps, the Trump administration is giving developers, oil drillers, industrial fish farms and others the green light to destroy or pollute streams and wetlands – water bodies that help filter pollution and curtail flooding.”

“Because these changes lack scientific or legal justification and threaten important waterways, we hope and expect the Biden administration will move quickly to undo them.”


The Army Corps issued a package of fast-track discharge permits that would authorize tens of thousands of projects over the next five years, often with minimal oversight of, or efforts to mitigate the impacts of, those actions. These “nationwide permits” under the Clean Water Act are supposed to be used only for minimally harmful activities, but the Army Corps has ignored that requirement. As a result, developers, fossil fuel companies, and industrial fish, shellfish, and seaweed farms would be allowed to pollute or destroy many water bodies without adequate protections for the environment.




NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.



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