EPA's latest proposal will make it easier for polluters to poison our nation’s water.
The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking comment on whether it should reconsider its longstanding position that pollution discharged into groundwater that flows into surface water requires a water pollution permit. EPA and states have required permits for this type of pollution for decades. This change would weaken the Clean Water Act and could lead to increased pollution, impacting drinking water and public health.
Clean Water Action National Special Projects Manager, Andrew Grinberg, released the following statement:
"Since his first day on the job, Scott Pruitt has been focused on making it easier for polluters to get away with polluting our water and jeopardizing public health. This proposal to create a new loophole for water polluters is just the latest assault on our water and communities.
Across the country, fossil fuel companies, petroleum pipeline companies, and coal-burning utilities have faced liability in courts for polluting water with gasoline, diesel, and heavy metals — and losing case after case. Most federal courts have ruled that the Clean Water Act is clear — it bans unpermitted dumping of pollution from a pipe or other point source to river, lake, or bay, including when the pollution flows through connected groundwater before reaching surface water.
EPA has no authority to create a polluter loophole that does not exist in the language of the Clean Water Act. But Scott Pruitt is going to try anyway because the special interests who call the shots in the Trump administration asked him to. The Senate EPW committee has to see through this transparent attack on one of our bedrock laws and hold Pruitt accountable if he tries to gut the Clean Water Act."
Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration and Congress.