The federal administration is considering weakening protections for our nation’s waters by repealing the 2015 Clean Water Rule. If enacted, this rule would protect drinking water needed by 117 million Americans by clarifying which water bodies are covered under the Clean Water Act. If repealed, protections for that drinking water remain in limbo.
Here’s why the Idaho Conservation League is against a repeal of the Clean Water Rule:
- The 2015 Clean Water Rule was created in response to the Supreme Court’s confusion over which water bodies are covered in the Clean Water Act. These water bodies include numerous streams throughout Idaho, most notably the Lost River Basins in eastern Idaho.
- One in three people gets drinking water from streams that lacked clear protection before the Clean Water Rule. It’s unclear how these people will be protected if these rules are rescinded.
- Not only does this rule protect human health, it more precisely defines and predictably determines which water bodies are covered under the Clean Water Act, making permitting less costly, easier and faster for businesses and industry.
- The appropriations bill in the U.S. House of Representatives includes a rider that would outlaw legal review of rescinding this rule, meaning citizens would be unable to challenge the legality of this decision.
Through Aug 28, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are collecting comments on rescinding the Clean Water Rule. Now is your chance to speak up for clean water throughout the United States.
To make matters worse, Congress is attempting to repeal the rule without following laws that would otherwise apply to such a process. Instead, Congress wants to exempt the repeal from legal review allowed under the Administrative Procedures Act. So take an additional minute or two to contact your Idaho representative Mike Simpson (District 2) or Raul Labrador (District 1) to request that they remove language in the House appropriations bill that prohibits legal review of this decision. If you’re not sure which district you’re in, you can enter your address and find out.