Supreme Court Guts Clean Water Protections, Putting Wetlands, Rivers, Public Health At Risk
Statement by American Rivers
Contact: Amy Souers Kober, 503-708-1145
In today’s ruling on Sackett v. EPA, the Supreme Court dramatically narrowed the scope of the Clean Water Act, undoing protections that have safeguarded the nation’s waters for over 50 years. Because it erases critical protections for tens of millions of acres of wetlands, the court’s ruling threatens the clean drinking water sources for millions of Americans.
Overturning federal protections for wetlands makes them vulnerable to pollution and harmful development, which impacts water quality, groundwater supplies, flood protection, and habitat for plants, fish, and wildlife. It will also make it more expensive to treat our water, driving up costs for millions of people. The court’s ruling will allow further destruction of wetlands, which will increase the rate and severity of flooding and flood damages in many places.
Tom Kiernan, President and CEO of American Rivers, made the following statement:
“The court’s ruling is a serious blow to wetlands, which are essential to clean, affordable drinking water, public health, and flood protection. Today’s ruling puts rivers and people at greater risk from pollution and harm. We urge state officials, the Biden Administration, and Congress to act quickly to safeguard rivers, wetlands, and streams that are so vital to our health and safety, environment, and economy. Rivers should unite us, not divide us.”
“Without strong, science-based protections, the rivers and wetlands that are the lifeblood of our nation will suffer irreparable harm. We risk going backwards to a time of beach closures and rivers choked with pollution. This ruling will exacerbate environmental injustices as the worst impacts harm communities of color. American Rivers will continue to stand with local partners and frontline communities to secure equitable protections for rivers and clean water nationwide. ”
About American Rivers
American Rivers is championing a national effort to protect and restore all rivers, from remote mountain streams to urban waterways. Healthy rivers provide people and nature with clean, abundant water and natural habitat. For 50 years, American Rivers staff, supporters, and partners have shared a common belief: Life Depends on Rivers. For more information, please visit AMERICANRIVERS.ORG.