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.

Conservation Groups Challenge EPA’s Gutting of Clean Water Protections in Federal Court

“The administration’s new rule completely undermines the core purpose of the Clean Water Act, which is to restore and maintain the integrity of our nation’s waters. It will put the health of communities throughout the country at risk,” said Jennifer Peters, national water programs director at Clean Water Action. “Even kids understand we all live downstream and that small streams and wetlands are vital to overall health of our drinking water sources. Instead of acting like drinking water matters, EPA is prioritizing polluter profits with this illegal and unscientific rule and standing its mission to protect human health and the environment on its head.”

 

Federal Judge Strikes Down Administration’s Clean Water Act Attack

“Today’s decision affirms that rule of law, not politics, must dictate how regulatory decisions are made,” said Jennifer Peters, Clean Water Action’s National Water Programs director. “The Clean Water Rule was adopted with tremendous public support, a fact the Trump administration cannot brazenly ignore. The Administration should immediately scrap its plan to strip critical Clean Water Act protections for certain streams and wetlands and instead ensure all our nation's waters are safeguarded from harmful pollution.”  

From We All Live Downstream

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.

Coah ash
December 3, 2020

On November 24th, Clean Water Action joined a new lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest rollback of vital safeguards to protect communities from coal ash. Coal ash is the toxic waste left over from burning coal for electricity. More than 100 million tons is generated annually, making it one of the largest industrial waste streams in the United States. Coal ash is packed with some of the deadliest substances known to humans, including harmful carcinogens like arsenic, cadmium, and chromium, and neurotoxins such as lead, lithium, and mercury.

Bard Center for Environmental Policy Logo
September 22, 2020

I am often asked: “Why are you studying environmental policy?” 

This is a loaded question because there are so many different ways to answer it. The other day, however, I had a revelation.