California Joins States Fighting Trump’s Water Regulation Rollbacks


Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined the attorneys general from 13 other states on Monday, sending a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that urged them to reject President Donald Trump’s proposal to roll back parts of the Clean Water Act.

One of the first US government acts to address environmental pollution, the Clean Water Act of 1972 was enacted to provide drinkable, clean water for thousands of Americans. Trump has been trying to roll back such regulations since 2017; but his 2019 budget introduces major budget cuts to the department which could actually make this a reality.

A press release from California’s Department of Justice read: “‘California can’t and won’t go back to a time when water pollution was the norm,’ said Attorney General Becerra. ‘This proposal would significantly harm California waterways and the people, plants and animals who depend on them. We urge the EPA and Army Corps to withdraw this ill-conceived proposal.’”

These streams connect to the main rivers, thus whatever streams are polluted or developed nearby will bring the grime to the main waterways where many Americans get their drinking water. That's why the Clean Water Act of 1972 makes any “seasonal stream or wetlands that could impact larger bodies” protected by the federal government, as stated on the Office of the Federal Register website. These protections are exactly what the current administration aims to strip.