Press Release Sep 12, 2019

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

Today’s reckless move by the administration erases years of significant improvements to the protection of our nation’s waterways.

Washington, DC – Today, 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 and swimming.

“Today’s reckless move by the administration erases years of significant improvements to the protection of our nation’s waterways,” said Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for National Parks Conservation Association. “Clean, safe water is a human right, and shouldn’t be sacrificed for the benefit of industry. It is essential to our national parks, the more than 300 million people who visit them every year, and the communities that surround them. These water protection rollbacks are coming at a time when we’re seeing toxic algae plague our waterways, and communities still struggling in the aftermath of the Flint, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio water crises. It’s clear that we need more clean water protections, not less.”

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.


About National Parks Conservation Association: For 100 years, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit

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