Strengthening Clean Water Protections

Clean Water is working to protect clean water and restore safeguards for our nation's wetlands and streams that feed our drinking water sources, filter pollution and protect communities from flooding.

Lake Erie Algal Bloom - August 2015. Photo Credit: NOAA Great Lakes CoastWatch

Harmful Algal Outbreaks and Drinking Water

In summer 2014 the residents in and around Toledo, Ohio were told not to drink, cook, or bathe with the water from their faucets.

Wetlands

Putting Drinking Water First: Restoring Clean Water Act Protections to Streams and Wetlands

Clean Water Action’s Putting Drinking Water First approach means making drinking water impacts a primary consideration when developing regulations and other programs involving upstream activities that could negatively impact downstream drinking water sources. The EPA/Corps Clean Water Rule better protects tributaries that impact the health of downstream waters, include drinking water sources: The Clean Water Rule has concrete implications for source water protection and for drinking water quality.

Clean Water Action Statement on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

“The Senate’s passage of the bi-partisan infrastructure deal is an important first step towards long-overdue investment in our nation’s infrastructure- but it falls well short of what is needed to address the climate crisis and protect the health of our communities."

 

From We All Live Downstream

Smoky Mountain stream. Photo credit: ehrlif / Shutterstock
September 2, 2021

I’ve been working on the question of what water should be protected by the Clean Water Act for 19 years. Polluters and their allies in Congress have been trying to remove some water bodies from the Act’s jurisdiction for just as long, so you would think I ran out of outrage a long time ago. But no.

national_cleanwater_wetlands.jpg
August 27, 2021

The Trump Dirty Water Rule (AKA the "Navigable Waters Protection Rule”) eliminated Clean Water Act protections for certain streams and wetlands. U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan has said the rule is “leading to significant environmental degradation.” Earlier this summer EPA announced that it will revoke the Dirty Water Rule and replace it with a rule that is more protective of vital water bodies. In August EPA held a series of listening sessions to gather public input on its plan. This is the testimony I gave to EPA.

chemicals in bottles
February 17, 2021

President Biden has pledged to take quick action on toxic fluorinated ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS “by designating PFAS as a hazardous substance, setting enforceable limits for PFAS in the Safe Drinking Water Act, prioritizing substitutes through procurement, and accelerating toxicity studies and research on PFAS.” These are welcome—and necessary—steps that must be taken to address this toxic pollution, but there’s a lot more the Biden administration can do.