Hours before President Donald Trump spoke to Congress in his first Presidential Address, local environmental nonprofit OC Coastkeeper sent out a press release denouncing an executive order Trump eventually signed Wednesday morning.
“President Trump just signed an executive order that seeks to dismantle the Clean Water Rule—allowing industries to profit off pollution and limiting which waters are protected,” OC Coastkeeper director Garry Brown said in the press release. “This doesn’t make sense; water does not stop flowing because of state boundaries or property lines. Eventually, all the pollution this executive order will allow would end up in our swimmable, fishable, drinkable waters.”
The order, which is available for review at www.whitehouse.gov, is intended to examine the definitions of the “Waters of the United States Rule,” which opponents to the order argue is the lifeblood to protect water from pollution. Opponents argue the order may result in certain smaller bodies of water, which feed into larger rivers, lakes and oceans, losing formal protection from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The order directs the Army Corps of Engineers and the director of the EPA to review the rule for “consistency” in order to keep the country’s water clean but at the same time spur economic growth, minimize regulatory uncertainty and show due regard for the roles of the Congress and the states under the Constitution, the order stated.