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EPA Suspends Clean Water Rule

by Countable | 2.5.18

What’s the story?

President Donald Trump has formally suspended what he termed "one of the worst examples of federal regulation," the 2015 Clean Water Act.

Why does it matter?

The Obama-era Clean Water Act - also known as the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) - expanded the Environmental Protection Agency’s "jurisdiction from large bodies of water, like the Mississippi River and Puget Sound, to smaller bodies that feed into them, like wetlands and estuaries," the Independent explained.

This regulation - an expansion of the 1972 Clean Water Act - sparked criticism from farmers and real estate developers, who found themselves accountable for runoff pollution in streams passing through their property.

"Today, E.P.A. is taking action to reduce confusion and provide certainty to America’s farmers and ranchers," Pruitt said in a statement. He continued:

"The 2015 WOTUS rule developed by the Obama administration will not be applicable for the next two years, while we work through the process of providing long-term regulatory certainty across all 50 states about what waters are subject to federal regulation."

Environmentalists decried the move and vowed to sue the Trump administration.

"The Clean Water Rule protects the bodies of water that feed the drinking water supply for one in three Americans," said Jon Devine, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. He added:

"E.P.A. Administrator Scott Pruitt is racing the clock to deny protections for our public health and safety. It’s grossly irresponsible, and illegal—and we’ll challenge it in court."

What do you think?

Will suspending WOTUS "reduce confusion and provide certainty to America’s farmers and ranchers"? Or did the 2015 Clean Water Act provide “protections for our public health and safety”? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

Want to tell Pruitt directly?

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—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: Fotoillustrator / iStock)

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(324)
  • Mark
    02/05/2018
    ···

    The list of things that the GOP has demonstrated that it does not care about has increased, it now includes: clean water, clean air, children, the debt ceiling, balancing the budget, the National parks, traitors, obstruction of justice, sexual harassment, Nazis, racism, bigotry, and adultery. The things the GOP have demonstrated that they do care about: the wealthy, their own bank accounts. 2018 is coming and Americans are angry. It’s time we impeach Trump and vote out his caste of self important, impotent supporters in Congress.

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  • TheJacobin
    02/06/2018
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    It’s very strange having an Environmental Protection Agency that doesn’t, you know, protect the environment.

    Like (235)
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  • Jennifer
    02/05/2018
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    Great now we can all be like Flint MI - which by the way, still does not have clean water.

    Like (160)
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  • Lexpost
    02/05/2018
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    Every law ever written infringes on somebody’s rights to do whatever they take into their mind to do. In general, people should have the right to do what they will with their property, but there is no right that is absolute. If you can’t make money on your property without dirtying up somebody else’s air and/or water, you don’t get a lot of sympathy from me. It took a long time to get the environment to the point where burning rivers are not part of the status quo. Industry, developers and the politicians who do their bidding took the actions that created the need for the regulations in the first place and I have a very hard time seeing just where it is that the public’s interest and needs are taken into account in the process absent the regulations.

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  • Robert
    02/05/2018
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    Another example that you cannot fix stupid. We have a Congress in office who can’t or has no will to protect this country. Vote smart in November

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  • OlderNWiser
    02/05/2018
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    Scott Pruitt, #45, and the rest of the corporatocracy want us to drink chemicals and oil so the wealthiest 1% can wallow in their riches even more. We, the people, are being culled to leave only the strongest and most resilient slaves. We, the people need protection from the mob in the White House attempting to establish a dictatorship of white supremacy.

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  • Peter
    02/06/2018
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    Continually disgusted by this “administration”. The Flint River was covered under WOTUS, and as I understand it, would no longer be covered with this action. Neither would the water supplies of about 1 in 3 Americans. This is not only a shortsighted decision, it is a flagrant disregard for sanity.

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  • Anna
    02/05/2018
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    This is yet another disgusting example of how greed and corporate interest is favored over the safety of our nations’ citizens, our water, the animals and the land around these bodies of water. This should not be allowed to pass if the health of America’s citizens even matters to the Republican Party. Frankly, it seems the only thing that matters is the bank accounts of the greedy people with power.

    Like (47)
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  • Farees
    02/06/2018
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    Please wake up and do the right thing, forget about party affiliation and re-elections. What legacy do you want to leave to your children and those who follow you. Someone who just stood on the sidelines while our democracy is getting mocked or as someone who stood up bravely without a care in the world and did the right thing. You might have to sacrifice a lot but history only remembers the latter.

    Like (42)
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  • Pru
    02/06/2018
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    Clean water, suspended???? This is unconscionable, poisoning Americans!!!! Look at Flint, this is awful. Vote them out!!!

    Like (34)
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  • Hillary
    02/05/2018
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    How the Hell do you think anything lives without water? It’s not just people who wither and die- it’s every animal and plant as well. Do you think the few people who make a (literal) killing off this are going to step forward and find water for the entire US when they’ve destroyed all our natural waterways and ponds and streams and springs? And even if they were miraculously willing where do you think it would come from? Are we going to have to buy water from Canada? Sweden? Norway? This is a short sighted ignorant move that stands out among a year filled with short sighted ignorant moves.

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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    02/05/2018
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    This is just another example of the fleecing of America. To allow farmers and corporations and developers to pollute The Citizen’s water in the name of profit, greed and power. I do not care how long you have been polluting and that your grandfather polluted and that you should be able to do the same, if we know that pollution harms people, animals, environment, it is your ethical responsibility to clean it up. No more grandfather clauses, that benefit corporations and developers. People first. America first. Make America Great Again!

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  • Alice
    02/06/2018
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    What the hell?! The Clean Water Act protects the bodies of water that feed the drinking water supply for one in three Americans. It provided protection for our public health and safety. Stop protecting corporations and real estate developers. Protect our environment and our citizens.

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  • Elizabeth
    02/06/2018
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    Cuz who needs clean water right? We weren’t even getting clean water with the rule! Now companies don’t need to keep even the most basic minimum of water purity??

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  • Rebecca
    02/06/2018
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    This decision, as with every decision he EPA has made, is egregious. The constant action of putting profits above public healthy and safety is immoral and possibly criminal. From day one, Pruitt has done everything to tear down the good work of the EPA and line the pockets of his benefactors. Stand up to these actions or face the consequences at the polls.

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  • Grace
    02/06/2018
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    Please don’t allow this to happen. Stop this. They’re ruining the environment for all, including plants and animals. If our water isn’t protected, then what will we have left? Don’t let their greediness ruin our country and our planet.

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  • Casey
    02/06/2018
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    Unbelievable that in this day and age we can have people in power who are so ignorant about public health and welfare. More likely, it’s spite and not ignorance, which somehow makes it worse. Scott Pruitt must go ASAFP, he is a cancer to America as are all his cohorts in this administration.

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  • Beverly
    02/06/2018
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    PUT BACK the Clean Water Act.

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  • Jason
    02/06/2018
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    A tipping point is fast approaching and enough will be enough and we the people will need to really come out to throw these so called elected leaders out of office. It surely is an indication, that they will keep pushing with their agenda, and we keep talking and complaining but, not much else is being done. So much harm is already done, but will only be measured in years to come. How much more damage are the American People willing to endure? November cannot come soon enough!!

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  • Jeff
    02/06/2018
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    EPA suspends clean water rules, WTF is wrong with government, let's get rid of all of them.

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