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Trump: The ‘Make America Great Again’ president wants dirty water and air

StreamIt was depressing to wake up this morning and read a news article on how President Trump is proposing changes to clean water laws that will benefit polluters. I hope states, local governments, and environmental organizations will step up and fight Trump’s proposal.

The Trump administration released its plan Tuesday to repeal safeguards that prohibit the dumping of pollution into sensitive waterways which provide tap water for more than 117 million Americans.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army want to significantly roll back federal protections for a number of water sources under the Waters of the United States rule, or WOTUS, put in place in 2015 by President Obama.

Under the Trump administration’s proposed rule, many small streams and wetlands that provide much of the drinking water for one-third of the U.S. population will no longer be protected.

Industry and agribusiness have been pushing for years to roll back the Clean Water Rule and protect only the biggest streams and rivers, said Craig Cox, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources for the Environmental Working Group.

“Even a child understands that small streams flow into large streams and lakes – which provide drinking water for so many Americans,” said Cox. “By removing safeguards and allowing industry to dump pollutants into these water sources, Trump’s EPA is ensuring more contamination challenges for utilities and dirtier water for their customers.”

“Sadly, what apparently motivates President Trump and Mr. Wheeler is taking a wrecking ball to anything the Obama administration erected to protect public health and our natural resources,” he said.

In 30 states, small streams provide some percentage of drinking water for 1 million or more people – more than 110 million total. More than 8 million people in New York, Texas, and Pennsylvania get drinking water from small streams – a total of almost 31 million – as do more than 5 million in Ohio and California – a total of 12.6 million.

In March 2017, after President Trump signed an executive order setting the repeal of WOTUS in motion, the EWG released an analysis of the communities whose drinking water would be most threatened by the lifting of protections for these small streams and wetlands.

The agencies’ proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of WOTUS.

The agencies will take comment on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.


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