Trump administration to finalize Dirty Water Rule in advance of Earth Day

April 20, 2020

April 20, 2020
Contact: Amy Kober, 503-708-1145

Washington — The Trump administration will finalize its Dirty Water Rule tomorrow, stripping clean water safeguards from critical small streams and wetlands nationwide. The new rule removes Clean Water Act protection from ephemeral streams (one in five streams nationally) and isolated wetlands (51 percent of all wetlands), opening the door to increased pollution, harmful development and destruction of drinking water sources.

Bob Irvin, President and CEO of American Rivers, made the following statement:

“On the eve of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, in the midst of a pandemic that is underscoring the importance of clean water, the Trump administration is finalizing a rule that will foul our nation’s waters for years to come.”

“Fifty years ago, the first Earth Day grew out of strong bipartisan support for safeguarding our land and water. Now, the Trump administration is dismantling clean water protections that are essential to public health and safety. We will not allow this administration to turn back the clock to the days of polluted streams and dying rivers.”

“American Rivers has gone to federal court twice in the past three years to block the administration’s moves to undermine protection of rivers and wetlands. Now we must do so again.”

“We reject this administration’s push to put polluters before people. We believe that science is the best guide to protecting our rivers and streams. And, we believe that everyone in our country should have clean water and healthy rivers, because they are vital to our health, our economy and our future.”


What is an ephemeral stream?
An ephemeral stream is a stream that only flows during or immediately following rainfall.
They are often the headwaters or tributaries to streams and rivers that flow year-round.

What is an isolated wetland?
An isolated wetland is defined as having no surface water connection to a perennial river or stream. They may still be connected to other water bodies by groundwater, and can provide important functions including fish and wildlife habitat, pollution filtration, and flood control.