Press Release

August 28, 2015
Cardin: Court Decision to Undermine Clean Water Should Be Revisited

BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), issued the following response after a federal judge in North Dakota blocked implementation of the Clean Water Rule, which was supposed to enter into force yesterday, August 27:


“In deciding to halt the implementation of the Clean Water Rule, the federal court has imperiled the waters that feed the drinking supplies of 1 in 3 Americans. Even before the Clean Water Rule was implemented, it was the focus of misguided partisan attacks fueled by lobbying dollars and gross mischaracterizations of the commonsense regulations. In his decision, which plays into such alarmist rhetoric, the judge over-reached with his comments that ‘The risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely.’ What will cause irreparable harm to states’ public health, economies and travel & tourism:  allowing upstream polluters to poison the drinking water of millions of Americans in all 50 states. The judge said the rule appears to be too vague as to exactly what types of topography is covered. Every Supreme Court justice to have considered the law’s scope disagrees. They have acknowledged that the safeguards included in the Clean Water Act are not limited to water bodies on which a boat will float. This eleventh-hour ruling is a setback to those of us who feel that the government should take basic steps to ensure that Americans can access clean water. I look forward to the EPA challenging this misguided decision.”