Business Leaders Criticize Proposed Gutting of Clean Water Protections

Media Release

WASHINGTON, DC — In advance of the April 15 end of the public comment period for the Trump Administration’s proposal to replace the Clean Water Rule, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), which with its member organizations represents more than 250,000 businesses, released the following statement. It may be attributed to ASBC President David Levine:

“Clean water is as essential to a healthy economy as it is to a healthy environment. Businesses across all sectors depend on clean water. Gutting protections for streams and wetlands hurts business and the whole economy. While pretending to help businesses, the Trump Administration’s proposal to gut clean water protections is instead a massive threat to both business and the environment.“

Business leaders also criticized the proposal and explained how businesses depend on clean water.

Mary Cleaver, President of New York City-based Cleaver Co and Table Green & Table Green Café, said, “Especially in the food industry, clean water is essential. The quality and health of the food we eat can be traced back directly the environment in which that food is grown or fished. Without clean water, our farmers and fishers would not be able to produce the food that feeds us all and we would not be able to prepare the dishes that our clients love. There is no alternative. Clean water is simply vital to our lives and to our business.”

“Clean water is mission critical for my business and many others,” said Ashley Rossi, Founder and CEO of Tiny Human Food, an organic baby food company in Naperville, IL. “Up and down the Mississippi River Basin and across the country, even businesses that don’t depend deeply on clean water for their core business, need clean water for their employees at work and at home. I don’t understand how reducing protections for clean water helps any responsible business.”

“The Catskill Brewery and the town of Livingston Manor depend on clean, pure water. The basis of beer is water, and the pristine quality of the municipal water supply that our brewery uses gives us an advantage in making quality products. This area is known for its local streams and rivers that support a thriving trout population for anglers. This town needs that influx of sportspeople to support all local businesses.” said Greg Lofaro, Director of Operations for the Catskill Brewery in Livingston Manor, NY. 

If allowed to be implemented, the existing Clean Water Rule would have generated more than $400 million annually in economic benefits. A scientific survey found that more than 80 percent of small business owners support implementation of the existing rule. 

ASBC supported the Obama Administration’s update to the Clean Water Rule and sided against challenges in court. Business leaders who want to show their support of strong protections of clean water may sign on to the business sign-on letter opposing the Trump Administration’s proposal to gut the rule here.

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) partners with business organizations and companies to advocate for solutions and policies that support an equitable, sustainable, stakeholder economy. We are a multi-issue, business organization advocating on behalf of all sectors, sizes, and geographies of industry. ASBC and our association members collectively represent over 250,000 businesses across our networks.

We are coalition-focused in our approach to solving the pervasive and systemic issues of climate and energy, infrastructure, circular economy, and creating an inclusive stakeholder economy, all seen through the lens of racial equity and justice. We are changing the rules by which business is done so it is better for all people and the environment