ASBC Strongly Endorses the Clean Water for All Act as Good for Business and the Economy

Media Release

Washington, DC – The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) today strongly endorsed the Clean Water for All Act as good for business and the economy.

The legislation, introduced by U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio and (D-OR) and U.S. Representative Grace Napolitano (D-CA), is aimed at repealing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule finalized by the EPA in April that severely limited the scope of the Clean Water Act.

“Congress should pass the Clean Water for All Act to restore protections to our nation’s waterways that are vital for our economy. The Navigable Water Protection Rule was a bad move for businesses across the country,” said ASBC President David Levine. “While a few polluters will benefit from gutting our nation’s clean water rules, most businesses depend on clean water, which is vital for  breweries, outdoor recreation and the hospitality industry.”

The Navigable Water Protection Rule removed protections for certain rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands established by the Corps of Engineers in 1986 during the Reagan administration. It was implemented by all subsequent Republican and Democratic administrations. The Trump administration argued that removing these regulations would be good for business, but ASBC  disagrees.

 “In making the Navigable Water Protection Rule, the EPA said that enabling polluters is more important than protecting clean water for business and the economy,” Levine said.

One example of industries likely to be hurt by the EPA’s rule is the craft brewing industry, which contributed $76.2 billion to the U.S. economy in 2017, with more than 500,000 jobs. The industry depends heavily on clean water to create a high-quality product. Outdoor watersports, including fishing, kayaking, rafting, canoeing, scuba diving and other watersports collectively generate nearly $175 billion year.

Levine also noted that the 2015 Clean Water Rule, which the Trump administration repealed and replaced with the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, would have been a boon to the economy overall. One study showed that the Clean Water Rule would have created $400 million annually in economic benefits if it had been allowed to be implemented.

“There is a large business opportunity for job growth in sectors such as infrastructure, ecosystem restoration, and technology development that are vital for achieving clean water goals and meeting regulatory standards. Instead, the administration made the decision to harm our economy by gutting protections to help polluters,” he said.