Benji Hardy

The Trump administration announced today plans to roll black clean water rules adopted during the Obama era — a setback for the environment and a victory for big business and agriculture.

(EPA Administrator Andrew) Wheeler said Tuesday he would roll back those rules so the Clean Water Act would only apply to traditional navigable — deep enough to be traveled on by boat — water, tributaries to navigable waters, certain ditches large enough to be used for navigation or subject to tides, lakes and ponds, impoundments and wetlands adjacent to any of those.

Environmentalist reaction was swift.


The Sierra Club issued a news release said the new “Dirty Water Rule” would wipe out protection for water bodies that supply drinking water and harm wetlands that filter pollution and prevent flooding. It also holds peril fish and wildlife habitat, which in turn power lucrative industries.

Said Glen Hooks, director of the Arkansas Sierra Club:


“Arkansas is fortunate to have some of the cleanest water in the entire nation, but that doesn’t happen without active efforts to protect it. This latest attack on our water is a new low for Trump and Wheeler as they again unabashedly side with corporate polluters instead of our families. Not only will this rollback endanger the drinking water sources for millions of people, but it also jeopardizes wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, and economies that rely on safe, clean water.

Our leaders in The Natural State should stand up against efforts to weaken our clean water protections. Arkansas is filled with iconic waterways like the Buffalo, White, and Kings rivers that support communities by drawing many thousands of tourists each year. These communities depend on clean water for their very livelihood. The Trump administration must stop rigging the system for special interests and start listening to the American public by acting to protect our water.”

Don’t hold your breath for Arkansas politicians to stand up. The state’s corporate lobby and elected officials such as Attorney General Leslie Rutledge have been outspoken defenders of killing the clean water rules. “Love That Dirty Water” could be their theme song.