‘Washington will not stand idly by’: Gov. Inslee, AG Ferguson condemn recent EPA ruling

Gov. Jay Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson 

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson released a joint statement condemning a recent EPA ruling, which they say will end federal protection for streams, wetlands and other bodies of water across the U.S.

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule known as “The Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of ‘Waters of the United States.’”

The rule redefines the scope and definition of ‘bodies of water’ that are federally regulated under the Clean Water Act.

“This unprecedented rule will destroy more clean water protections than any other single act in American history. Without a doubt, it is among the most flagrant steps taken by the Trump administration in their all-out assault on the environment and the Clean Water Act.

“Today’s action will decimate federal protections for more than half the nation’s wetlands and hundreds of thousands of miles of streams — protections that have been in place for decades, under both Republican and Democratic administrations. By allowing unfettered corporate pollution in our waters, EPA is willfully threatening the healthy waters necessary for thriving communities, fish and wildlife habitat, and our vital outdoor recreation economy.

“As with so many other actions, we know these impacts will be felt disproportionately by those already struggling with access to clean water. We demand better for our low-income and marginalized communities of color.

“Washington will not stand idly by as the Trump administration eviscerates critical protections for our natural resources and everything we hold dear. We are reviewing the final rule now and exploring all options to protect clean water for all Washingtonians.”