Protect the Waters of the U.S.
In 2020, the Trump Administration narrowed the definition of what is considered “waters of the United States” by the U.S. EPA, leaving thousands of stream miles, many public recreational lakes, and millions of wetland acres without the protections that have been in place for decades. Fortunately, in September 2021, a federal court in Arizona vacated the rule nationally after finding it would have caused significant harm to the nation’s waters if left in place.
In November 2021, EPA and the Army Corps announced a proposed rule that would put back into place the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the US,” updated to reflect Supreme Court decisions. This would replace the Trump-era “Dirty Water Rule” until the Biden Administration creates a new, durable rule. This pre-2015 approach is significantly better than the terrible Trump-era rule but is still inadequate to ensure clean water across the country. ASBN sent a letter to the EPA urging the agency to move promptly towards replacing it by adopting strong, robust federal clean water protections that are rooted in science and consistent with the objective of the Clean Water Act to protect streams, wetlands, and lakes that our businesses and communities rely on.