Clean water sustains us all — our families, animals and communities, our farms and fisheries. Clean water is a fundamental human right — and it’s under attack by the Trump administration.
We need your help to stop it.
Act before the October 21 deadline!
Since 1972, the Clean Water Act has been one of America’s bedrock environmental protections. The law requires thorough federal permits, based on scientific review, for major industrial projects that might pollute U.S. waters — including oil and gas pipelines.
A key section of the law requires states and Native American tribes to certify that such projects protect the rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands and other water resources in their jurisdictions, or if need be, put limits on or stop unacceptable projects. For example, states and tribes have used Section 401 to protect waters from toxic coal dust, reservoir contamination and degradation of fish habitat. Minnesota and New York have relied on Section 401 to try to protect their waters from oil or natural gas pipelines.
But the Environmental Protection Agency plans to weaken Section 401 in order to push through fracked-gas pipelines and other dirty-energy projects — putting our water and our health at risk. As noted on EPA’s webpage, the changes are proposed specifically to align with the president’s April 2019 executive order entitled “Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth.” In effect, the rollback would hand industry a virtual free pass to build oil and gas pipelines and other dirty-energy projects almost anywhere.
Visit the EPA’s website today and send your comments directly to the agency. Feel free to copy-and-paste the points below, or write your own. The deadline is October 21.
And thanks! Future generations will be grateful for your action today.
To the Environmental Protection Agency:
I oppose the agency’s proposed changes to Section 401 under the Clean Water Act which would:
- Severely limit the time that states and tribes are allowed to review water quality impacts of projects, which can often be complex and deserving of careful, methodical investigation, as is the case with interstate natural gas pipelines, for example;
- Prevent states and tribes from considering overall health and biological health and integrity of water resources, which are foundational to a scientific understanding of water quality; and
- Give the federal government final say over a state’s or tribe’s decision whether or not to approve a water quality permit, which is akin to a bait-and-switch approach to policy-making.
The EPA’s proposed changes would upend a cornerstone of the Clean Water Act designed to ensure a proper balance of power between the federal government and states and tribes in determining the best, most protective course of action in considering major development projects. It would make it harder to protect water quality and safeguard communities from pollution.