What is EPA afraid of? 60 days is an unacceptably short public comment period for the most aggressive attack on the Clean Water Act since 1972

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Washington, D.C. -- Today the Environmental Protection Agency officially published its Dirty Water Rule in the Federal Register. The public now has only 60 days to comment on this proposal to eliminate Clean Water Act protections from nearly 20% of the nation’s stream miles and more than 50% of all wetlands, including waters that are also drinking water sources for millions of Americans.

Jennifer Peters, National Water Programs Director for Clean Water Action, released the following statement:

“For the first time in the 46-year-history of the Clean Water Act, the EPA is proposing to eliminate pollution protections for certain streams and over half of our nation’s wetlands. EPA wants to give fossil fuel companies, developers, and other industries a free pass to pollute streams that feed drinking water sources and to destroy wetlands that buffer communities from floodwaters—without consequence. Proposing to remove protections for vital water resources that have been in place for decades is a significant government action that deserves significant public scrutiny. Yet EPA is only giving the public 60 days to comment on its drastic proposal.  

Acting EPA Administrator Wheeler and the Trump administration are rushing the public comment period on their proposal because they know it’s unpopular. Only the same polluting industries that have been fighting to weaken clean water protections for decades support this proposal. The Dirty Water Rule could have far-reaching negative impacts on water quality across the country and people deserve sufficient chance to review it. EPA should extend the current 60-day comment period to at least match the more than 200 days the public had to comment on the Clean Water Rule in 2014.”


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.


Michael Kelly