As West Continues to Confront Devastating Drought, California Attorney General Urges EPA to Expand Clean Water Act Protections for Nation’s Waterways

On Monday, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, leading a multistate coalition along with New York Attorney General Letitia James, urged the Biden Administration to repeal a Trump-era rule drastically curtailing protections under the Clean Water Act. Under the 2020 rule, more than half of all wetlands and at least 18% of all streams across the United States were left without federal protections. Western states like California were even harder hit, with 35% of all streams deprived of federal protections as a result of the 2020 rule. In the comments, the coalition supports the Biden Administration’s proposed regulation to restore the 1980s definition of “waters of the United States” and urges the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) to take swift action to develop a more expansive definition that is consistent with science and the law, addresses the impacts of climate change, and serves environmental justice communities.