New EPA plan would drastically roll back clean water protections

For Immediate Release

Boston — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled its plan to roll back Clean Water Act protections from thousands of miles of streams and wetlands in Massachusetts and across the country today.

Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts, issued the following statement:

“The ‘Dirty Water Rule’ is the most extreme attack on clean water in recent memory. This outrageous proposal upends the core mission of the EPA: protecting human health and the environment.

“The health of our rivers, like the Charles and the Connecticut, depends on the streams that feed them and the wetlands that filter out pollution. By stripping federal protections from streams and wetlands, the Dirty Water Rule would put our rivers and our drinking water at risk of pollution. It defies common sense, sound science and the will of the people.

“The Dirty Water Rule being proposed to today would replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule, which restored federal protections to more than 4,000 miles of streams in Massachusetts that help provide drinking water to 4.9 million Massachusetts residents. More than a thousand scientific studies and a million Americans — including 19,000 people in Massachusetts — backed protections for these waterways.

“As stewards of our environment, it is our moral obligation to protect Massachusetts’ waters. For the sake of our ecosystem, our way of life, and even our own drinking water, we must stop EPA from opening our waterways to polluters.”

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Environment Massachusetts is the statewide, citizen-supported environmental advocacy organization working to protect clean air, clean water, and open space.