American Rivers Slams Rollback of Stream Protection Rule

February 16, 2017

February 16, 2017

Contact: Amy Kober, 503-708-1145

Washington, DC – President Trump today signed into law a measure that will allow more coal mining waste to foul streams, pollute drinking water supplies and threaten the health of communities across Appalachia.

The law overturns the Stream Protection Rule, which provided important safeguards for streams from coal mining pollution, and required streams that were adversely impacted by mining to be restored.

“This is a significant setback for our country’s clean drinking water and the health of our communities,” said Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers. “Americans should be angry that their elected representatives and the president would put the interests of the mining industry above the health of families.”

“As a native of eastern Kentucky, I have seen the devastation of mountains, streams, and communities wrought by the coal industry,” Irvin said.

Congress voted to undo the rule and prevent a “substantially similar” rule from being developed in the future by using the Congressional Review Act. This drastic action leaves streams in coal country vulnerable to pollution, putting the surrounding communities and environment at risk.

“Healthy rivers and streams are essential to each and every American. They are the lifeblood of our nation’s economy, vital to our health and well-being. We need to be doing more, not less, to protect and restore our rivers,” said Irvin.


American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 250,000 members, supporters and volunteers.

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