WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s final action to eviscerate the Clean Water Rule.
“Clean, safe water is a right of every person in this country. The 2015 Clean Water Rule recognized the necessity of protecting our nation’s small streams, wetlands, and other critical waters, including those that help supply public water systems with drinking water for 117 million Americans. The new, Trump Administration rule reverts standards back more than 30 years to Clean Water Act guidelines issued in 1986, the same year the dismal first annual report card on the health of the Chesapeake Bay was issued by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. The local streams and wetlands that will lose federal protection under this rule filter into tributaries and the Bay itself. Clean water is critical for public health as well as overall Bay health, which shows a significantly improving trend from 1986−2018. This rule undermines the hard work Marylanders have made toward restoring the Bay and keeping our water safe for all.”
In 2017, Senator Cardin led his colleagues in writing to then EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt opposing the repeal of the Clean Water Rule, expressing the need to prioritize Americans’ right to safe, clean water over ideological differences.