By Dr. Kim Schrier
Forty-five years ago today, Congress passed the Clean Water Act to keep pollutants out of our rivers and waterways. It set water quality standards, established pollution prevention measures, and funded wastewater treatment plants.
Since 1972, our scientific understanding of the impact of seasonal tributaries and wetlands on water quality downstream has grown immensely. To reflect this and eliminate confusion, in 2015 President Obama clarified the rule of “navigable waterways” to include intermittent streams and wetlands. The decision was based on more than 1,200 peer-reviewed scientific studies and over 1 million public comments.
Now Donald Trump has put Scott Pruitt in charge of the EPA to rewrite the rules and eliminate the Obama-era enhancements to protect our water. Mr. Pruitt is intent on undermining those rules meant to keep our water clean. Let’s be clear: when industrial pollutants, fertilizers, and pesticides enter our waterways, it puts public health at risk and threatens wildlife.
Of course, Mr. Pruitt’s motivation for undoing President Obama’s more comprehensive approach to keeping our water clean is to make business easier for polluting corporations.
The Trump regulatory rollback proposed this summer would affect water quality for 1 in 3 Americans — that’s millions of people for whom access to clean water might no longer be a guarantee. Clean water is our right — it’s time to stand up for our most important natural resource.
Tell Trump to protect our water — add your name today.