Trump Administration Repeals Clean Water Rule, Threatening National Park Waterways and Drinking Water for Communities Across the Country

The Trump administration announced its final repeal of the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, also known as the Clean Water Rule, threatening drinking water for communities and national park waterways across the country. The administration’s dismantling of the Clean Water Rule, combined with its proposed rewrite, eliminates protections for our nation’s rivers, lakes and streams, and paves the way for more pollution from mining, manufacturing and large farms to flow into waterways, which will ultimately impact water that we all depend on for drinking, fishing, swimming and other recreation.

The original WOTUS rule, also known as the Clean Water Rule, was developed over a multi-year process that included bipartisan support. The goal was to end confusion about which of our nation’s streams, wetlands, lakes and rivers — the source of drinking water for 117 million Americans — are protected under the Clean Water Act. Almost immediately after taking office, President Trump issued an executive order instructing the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to revisit the Clean Water Rule.

The National Park Service oversees thousands of miles of waterways and coasts throughout the country – from trout streams in Yellowstone to wetlands in the Everglades. For more than 20 years, national park visitors have consistently ranked water quality or water access as a top-five most valued attribute when visiting national parks. The Outdoor Industry Association found that consumers spend $887 billion annually on outdoor recreation, with nearly $140 billion on kayaking, rafting, canoeing, scuba diving and other water and recreation activities, all of which takes place in our parks.

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