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Business Leaders Question SBA Advocacy's Comments on EPA's Water Rule

For Immediate Release: 
October 2, 2014
Contact Info
Bob Keener, ASBC,, 617-610-6766
Bryan McGannon, ASBC,

WASHINGTON, DC ( October 2, 2014)—The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) questioned the public comments submitted by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy (SBA Advocacy) concerning the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Waters of the United States rule. Those comments called for EPA to withdraw the rule.

“The SBA Advocacy comments submitted on the proposed water rule do not represent the views of most small businesses as shown in recent independent polling,” said David Levine, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council. “Once again, it appears that SBA Advocacy is arguing that polluting industries have the right to externalize their pollution and harm downstream businesses and the communities they serve.”

Scientific polling of independent small businesses commissioned by ASBC about the business need for clean water contradicts the position taken by SBA Advocacy. Eighty percent of small business owners favor federal rules to protect upstream headwaters, as proposed in the EPA’s new "Waters of the U.S." rule. Additional findings include:

  • 78% of Republicans and 73% of independents joined 91% of Democrats in supporting the rule, which clarifies that federal rules apply to headland waters and wetlands.
  • 71% of small business owners agree that clean water is necessary for jobs and a healthy economy.
  • 67% are concerned that water pollution could hurt their business in the future.
  • 62% agree that government regulation is needed to prevent water pollution.
  • 61% believe that government safeguards for water are good for businesses and local communities.
  • 60% believe that complying with clean water regulations is more economical than risking harm from neglecting safety practices.

"These data show that cross-sector, cross-industry support for these rules is strong,” Levine added. “The Office of Advocacy, sadly, remains behind the curve on what the small business community is actually looking for.”

The American Sustainable Business Council represents member organizations that span more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors. The Council informs policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy.