Carper, Cardin, Sanders, Markey, Merkley, and Padilla Call on Biden Administration to Cement Repeal of Trump’s Dirty Water Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, on Friday led Senators Cardin, Sanders, Markey, Merkley, and Padilla, in urging the Biden administration to formally dismantle the Trump administration’s so-called Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR)—also known as the Dirty Water Rule—through federal rulemaking. This comes after the U.S. District Court for Arizona vacated and remanded the Dirty Water Rule on August 30, 2021.

Undoing the Dirty Water Rule through rulemaking would allow the Biden administration to highlight the policy deficiencies and environmental harms associated with the old rule.

“We are encouraged by your agencies’ June 9 announcement beginning the process to repeal the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) and to replace it with a robust definition of ‘waters of the United States,’” the senators wrote.

“In light of your administration’s strong concerns about the adverse impacts of the Trump rule, we urge you, nonetheless, to proceed to remove the NWPR administratively through a formal notice and comment rulemaking on the basis of its fundamental policy failings,” the senators continued. “We also urge the agencies to narrowly tailor their removal of the NWPR in order to restore safeguards for those waters that have been protected since the 1980s.”

The full text of the letter can be viewed here.