Environmentalists on Friday denounced the Trump administration for once again attempting to boost fossil fuel industry profits at the expense of public health after EPA chief Andrew Wheeler proposed a rule to expedite approval of dirty pipeline projects.

The rule, according to the Wall Street Journal, would significantly weaken states’ authority to cite Clean Water Act regulations to delay or block pipeline projects.

“The Clean Water Act is responsible for many of the most important improvements in public health and safety for generations. Any effort to strip its power is an affront to common sense and our overall wellbeing.”
—Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch

Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said in a statement Friday that the Trump administration’s proposal “should be seen for what it is: an egregious handout to corporate fossil fuel polluters.”

“The Clean Water Act is responsible for many of the most important improvements in public health and safety for generations. Any effort to strip its power is an affront to common sense and our overall wellbeing,” said Hauter. “For an administration that claims to prioritize states’ rights, this attempted power grab at the expense of state-based clean water oversight is the epitome of hypocrisy.”

Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said the Trump EPA is “attacking the Clean Water Act because it’s more interested in padding corporate polluter profits than ensuring communities have access to safe drinking water.”

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