Trump Administration Finalizes Decision to Roll Back Clean Water Regulations Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

By Anshul Dash

Recently, the Trump Administration has repealed the Clean Water Rule and is now in the process of revoking clean water regulations from the 1972 Clean Water Act. This act stated that all the water in the United States would be protected and maintained by federal administrations across the country.

However, there have been several arguments about which sources of water should be federally protected. People who pollute bodies of water do not want to follow the rules imposed by the Acts. There have been many decisions made by the Supreme Court that have made people question whether or not these waters should be protected by the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Rule was imposed by the Obama Administration in 2015 to sort out this confusion and provide scientific insight on how to decide which waters should be federally protected.

However, with the repeal of the Clean Water Rule, there is currently no basis as to how to determine which waters should be under federal protection. So as of right now, these decisions are being made based on the system that preceded the Clean Water Rule of 2015. These actions have cleared a path for cutting numerous bodies of water from federal protection. Environmentalists have dubbed this the “Dirty Water Rule.” These bodies of water will no longer be protected from industrial pollution, meaning downstream water quality will suffer. This will also affect over 117 million Americans (over a third of the nation) because federal agencies protected most of the water sources they were using.

For water supplies that are no longer protected, there is nobody who can step in to stop any sources of pollution from affecting the water. The Dirty Water rule could affect one in five streams, which make up more than half of the bodies of water in the United States. It also prevents protection from wetlands since they naturally filter pollution and keep waters safe. Wetlands also act as buffers in coastal hurricane-susceptible locations and naturally store floodwaters.

How Can We Stop This?

There are actually ways in which we can help oppose and contribute to the prevention of these changes. One way is to reach out to local officials and tell them to stand out and fight against these disastrous changes being imposed by the Trump Administration. Furthermore, be on the watch for any demonstrations or action alerts from organizations such as Earthjustice. Through these actions, you can join the opposition against Trump’s actions regarding clean water.