Press Releases

Chairs DeFazio, Napolitano, and Beyer Lead 130+ House Colleagues in Applauding the EPA & Corps for Withdrawing the Trump Dirty Water Rule, Call New Rulemaking Urgent

In a new letter, representatives call for the swift replacement of the Dirty Water Rule: “Now that the Court has thrown out this blatant giveaway to polluters, we call upon you to take immediate action to protect our nation’s waterways for future generations.”

Washington, DC – Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), Chair of the Joint Economic Committee Don Beyer (D-VA) and 139 U.S. House Representatives sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) applauding the agencies’ withdrawal of the deeply flawed Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), commonly known as the Trump Dirty Water Rule. The group of lawmakers also called on the EPA and the Corps to put a new rulemaking into place that is based on science and protects U.S. waters and wetlands.

“First,” the representatives began, “we are pleased that the agencies are working to expeditiously replace the Trump Dirty Water Rule and are glad to see that the agencies will no longer be implementing it. However, as you know, the rulemaking process can be a lengthy one, and rightfully so, to ensure fruitful stakeholder engagement and thoughtful deliberations. Even if the administration expedites a replacement rule, it will take two or three years before a new rule is in place. In the meantime, countless waters and wetlands remain vulnerable to pollution, degradation, and destruction, and American families will pay the cost of this destruction through more polluted waters, less protected drinking water sources, greater flood risk, and a degraded environment. Therefore, we call upon you to ensure that any interim guidelines for asserting federal clean water protections maximize your authorities under the law and existing regulations, as guided by relevant court decisions, and are consistent with the science.”
 
“Second,” the representatives continued, “we call upon you to expeditiously put in place an enduring, scientifically-based, and protective standard for ensuring the protection of our critical waters and wetlands.”
 
Additional Background:
 
In February 2021, DeFazio and Napolitano sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to repeal the Trump Dirty Water Rule. To learn more, click here.

In June 2021, DeFazio and Napolitano released statements after the EPA announced that it was withdrawing the Trump Dirty Water Rule, beginning an extensive stakeholder engagement process, and getting to work on a replacement rule. To learn more, click here.
 
In August 2021, DeFazio and Napolitano released statements after a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona overturned the Dirty Water Rule. To learn more, click here.
 
The full letter can be found here.