Re-Opening the floodgates: Trump admin proposal will inundate communities with toxic water

Washington, DC - Today Clean Water Action joins dozens of other environmental groups and community leaders from across the country to oppose  EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s proposal to allow coal plants to continue to dump arsenic, lead, mercury, selenium, nutrients, and other chemicals into our nation’s rivers and lakes, including those used as sources of drinking water.

Coal plants are the leading source of toxic water pollution in the United States and EPA estimates this pollution has made over 4,000 miles of rivers unsafe for use as a drinking water source or for fish, and that roughly 30 million people have eaten fish contaminated by coal plants. In 2015 the Obama administration issued the first-ever national pollution limits to control the amount of heavy metals, nutrients, and other pollutants these plants can discharge into our nation’s river, lakes, and bays preventing 1.4 billion pounds of pollution from being dumped in our water resources every year. On June 6, 2017 U.S. EPA published a proposal to indefinitely delay these standards in response to requests from the power plant industry.

Clean Water Action Water Programs Director Jennifer Peters released the following statement:

“The Trump administration’s proposal to allow coal plants to indefinitely poison our nation’s water resources with toxic waste is an assault on public health, the environment, and common sense. Clearly they care more about lining the pockets of the fossil fuel industry than they care about protecting families from eating fish contaminated with lead and mercury or protecting drinking water from preventable pollution. Scott Pruitt is fast-tracking this reckless action and denied requests to provide the communities most impacted by this pollution adequate time to comment. This will force drinking water utilities and their consumers to continue to foot the bill for removing this pollution from drinking water supplies."

"EPA must immediately withdraw this negligent proposal that puts our drinking water sources at risk and unnecessarily exposes millions of people to eating contaminated fish.”


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration and Congress.

Michael Kelly