Federal judge strikes down ‘Dirty Water Rule’

There IS good news! On Monday, a federal judge struck down a Trump administration rule — known as the “Dirty Water Rule” — that significantly reduced protections under the Clean Water Act!

The U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona judge said the rule was “too flawed to keep in place.”

Read more about the decision at EE News.

“This is very, very welcome news and a big deal for the protection of North Carolina’s waters and wetlands,” Heather Deck, Sound Rivers’ executive director said. “We were already seeing impacts and loss of critical wetlands in eastern North Carolina and letting this rule remain would just have made it harder for our communities to protect themselves from future flooding.”

The Navigable Waters Protection Rule garnered immediate pushback from conservation organizations across the country even before it was published in April 2020. The rule eliminated Clean Water Act protections for the nation’s waters, including approximately half of all wetlands and potentially millions of miles of streams, in addition to allowing polluters to pave over wetlands, and dump pesticides, mining waste and other pollutants directly into those waterways.

In response, Sound Rivers joined with12 other organizations in February 2020 to file a formal notice of intent to sue the Trump administration, then signed on with the lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California, along with Waterkeeper Alliance, Inc.; Humboldt Baykeeper — a program of Northcoast Environmental Center; Lake Worth Waterkeeper; Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper; Monterrey Coastkeeper — a Program of The Otter Project, Inc.; Rio Grande Waterkeeper — a program of Wildearth Guardians; Russian Riverkeeper; Snake River Waterkeeper, Inc.; Upper Missouri Waterkeeper, Inc.; Turtle Island Restoration Network; Wildearth Guardians; and Ecological Rights Foundation.

After the rule was published, the state of North Carolina got on board, as Attorney General Josh Stein and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality joined 16 other states challenging the EPA’s rollbacks to the Clean Water Act.

“While our case hadn’t made it through the process, we’re super-thankful this case prevailed,” Deck said.

For years, Sound Rivers has asked our supporters to take action in response to bad wetlands legislation — your action has led to this decision. This is our victory, it is YOUR victory, and it is a CLEAN-WATER victory for ALL!