Interesting Facts: EPA’s Clean Power Plan & Clean Water Rule

Lately, you may have read about a lot of issues surrounding the EPA and its key policies. In this article, we wanted to summarize two policies that are expected to face reconsideration by the new administration. The Clean Water Rule and the Clean Power Plan.

EPA Clean Water Rule and Clean Power Plan Infographic

Clean Water Rule

The goal of the Clean Water Rule is to protect the streams and wetlands that have been scientifically shown to affect the quality of downstream water.

– Prairie potholes, Carolina and Delmarva bays, and Pocosins are examples of water features protected by the Clean Water Rule.

– Many people rely on such water sources. According to the EPA, one in three Americans get drinking water from streams that were vulnerable to pollution before the Clean Water Rule.

– Many businesses and industries also rely on fresh water to operate. Examples include: fishing, agriculture, manufacturing, and aquatic recreation.

– Agricultural exemptions from the Clean Water Act are still intact. Normal farming activities like plowing, seeding, and cultivating are not affected by the Clean Water Rule.

Clean Power Plan

The goal of the Clean Power plan is to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, while maintaining energy reliability through the development of clean energy.

– Petroleum refineries and fossil fuel power plants make up nearly 40 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

– At the time it was published, the EPA estimated that the Clean Power Plan could help reduce pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog that make people sick by over 25 percent.

– The EPA also estimated that for every dollar invested through the Clean Power Plan, American families could see up to $7 in health benefits.

– The Clean Power Plan does not have one nationwide policy. Each state has individual emission reduction goals. There are two forms – rate-based and mass-based – either of which can be used by a state in its plan. This EPA page shows the goals set for each state.

Both of these policies are extremely dense and complex so we highly encourage you to visit the EPA website to learn more about them. The EPA does a great job of summarizing these policies by providing fact sheets on key sections of the policies.