Protect Clean Water
What's At Stake
President Trump’s Dirty Water Rule threatens the drinking water supply of millions of Americans.
Soon after taking office, the Trump administration bowed to industry and launched a full-scale attack on our water protections. In February 2017, the president signed an executive order that began the process of repealing the Clean Water Rule—a critical requirement that specifies what bodies of water fall under the 1972 Clean Water Act, which safeguards the country’s waters from harmful pollutants like industrial waste, sewage, and toxic coal ash, and holds polluters accountable. In September 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers officially repealed the measure, making it easier for polluters to contaminate streams, wetlands, and other smaller bodies of water.
On January 23, 2020, the administration finalized its own Dirty Water Rule, which tosses out protections for streams and tributaries that flow only after rain, as well as millions of acres of wetlands. Wetlands are particularly important to ecosystem health, as they filter contaminated runoff and replenish groundwater supplies. The Dirty Water Rule’s impact will be huge, likely to affect waters important to millions of people’s drinking water supply—all for the benefit of developers, oil drillers, and other industrial polluters.
Conservation and public health groups all across the nation, including NRDC, have taken the fight to save the health of America’s water to court. We won’t stop protecting this critical natural resource.
Call on the Biden administration to take bold action in its first 100 days
Reporting, expert commentary, analysis, and more.
"Clean water is good for business. Obviously, it's good for my business. No client has ever asked me to take them fishing someplace where the water was polluted."
Weakened Water Protections Will Hurt Beer
More than 100 craft breweries from across the country, including Brooklyn Brewery and New Belgium Brewing Company, are joining NRDC to explain why clean water is essential for great-tasting beer.
Trump's proposed budget would cut more than $77 million of the funding that states and tribes receive to monitor their waters and run their core programs, like pollution-control permitting and enforcement.
Protecting clean water is central to our long-term business success. Moreover, it is vital to the health and the economy of the communities where we live and work.
The administration was met here by a slew of environmentalists, hunters and anglers, community organizations, water-reliant businesses, and more from around the country.
The percentage of voters who support the Clean Water Rule
The Clean Water Rule resulted from an extensive public-engagement process. It’s the product of a state-of-the-art review of the scientific literature to establish which waters served important functions, as well as a careful assessment of the Clean Water Act’s objectives and the responsibilities it places on the federal government.