Scott Pruitt Is Undermining EPA Authority, Doing the Bidding of Corporate Special Interests
Washington, D.C. -- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced another rollback of EPA's ability to protect the nation's waters. Pruitt is directing the Office of Water to issue a proposal in the next six months to limit EPA's authority under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act. The 404(c) provision allows EPA to prohibit projects approved by the Army Corps of Engineers that could result in significant degradation to municipal water supplies or could cause loss or significant damage to U.S. fisheries. It is a powerful statutory tool that has only been used 13 times since the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972.
Clean Water Action National Water Programs Jennifer Peters released the following response:
"This is a brazen attack on our ability to keep our water clean and protect communities from the most damaging mining and development projects. Scott Pruitt's focus on economic growth and the needs of multi-national corporations is putting our water and health at risk. The Environmental Protection Agency's mission is to protect human health and the environment, not worry about corporate profits and investment decisions.
Pruitt's latest action is a damning indictment of his misguided tenure at EPA. The agency has only used this power to veto projects that are likely to destroy fisheries and seriously impact water supplies 13 times in more than 45 years. Instead of recognizing the importance of this authority, Pruitt is doing the bidding of an international mining company that wants to open the world's largest copper mine near the most largest and important salmon fishery in the United States. He's ignoring the pleas of Tribes and local communities in Alaska and this proposal will put communities and water across the nation at risk of similar destructive projects."
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.