Protect America's Waterways

What's at risk? More than half of America’s streams

Over the past decade, polluters and irresponsible developers have used the courts to put Clean Water Act protections in legal limbo, arguing that the law doesn’t cover the smaller streams and wetlands that feed and clean America’s great waters.

Right now, nearly 60 percent of America’s streams and 20 million of acres of wetlands are vulnerable to pollution and development, putting the drinking water for 117 million Americans at risk. Polluters can dump into streams, developers can pave over wetlands to build strip malls, and the cops on the environmental beat can’t do a thing about it.

On the verge of the biggest clean water victory in decades

This fall, the Obama administration took first steps to close the Clean Water Act loopholes and protect our waters. This is big news—we’re closer than ever to victory. But Big Ag and developers will be using all their power and resources to bring this progress to a standstill. To get these critical protections over the finish line, we’ll need to show President Obama that the American public overwhelmingly supports clean water.

Our plan to defend our rivers and streams

It is clear that if polluters win, our rivers and streams lose. And we know that we can’t compete with their lobbyists dollar for dollar. But the public is with us—and if we can prove that to our elected officials, we can win. That's why we’re bringing together Americans from all walks of life to protect our waterways. From farmers to scientists, from local officials to ordinary families, we all have a stake in keeping our water clean. 

Our citizen outreach staff has been knocking on doors across the nation, educating Americans about what’s at stake. So far, we've delivered more than 100,000 public comments in support of clean water.

But if we’re going to drown out the opposition and convince President Obama and the EPA to finalize a rule and protect our waters, we can’t let the momentum falter. Right now, we need everyone who cares about America’s waterways to get involved.

Issue updates

News Release | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Groups Launch New Effort to Get the Lead Out of Schools’ Drinking Water, with Washington, DC in the Vanguard

Citing growing evidence of pervasive lead contamination in schools’ drinking water, Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG today launched a new Get the Lead Out campaign.  An analysis by Environment America Research & Policy Center shows that many states are not making the grade when it comes to keep lead out of drinking water at school. 

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Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Get the Lead Out

Our children need safe drinking water – especially at school where they go to learn and play each day.  Unfortunately, lead is contaminating drinking water at schools and pre-schools across the country. 

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News Release | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Businesses Join Effort to Defend Clean Water Rule from Lawsuit

Two hundred and thirty-four businesses joined Environment America Research & Policy Center and American Sustainable Business Council in urging a federal court to uphold the Clean Water Rule. From outfitters to brewers to charter boat companies, many of these businesses depend on clean water for their livelihoods.

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Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Local Officials Join Effort to Defend Clean Water Rule from Lawsuit

With clean water protections under attack in the courts, 79 local officials from across the country joined Environment America Research & Policy Center in amicus briefs supporting the Clean Water Rule. 

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Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Businesses Join Effort to Defend Clean Water Rule from Lawsuit

With clean water protections under attack in the courts, 234 business leaders from 33 states joined Environment America Research & Policy Center in amicus briefs supporting the Clean Water Rule.

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