News | July 23, 2014

New Poll: Small Business Owners Want Strong Clean Water Rules

80% Favor Protections in New EPA Proposal 71% Agree Clean Water is Needed for a Healthy Economy and Local Jobs

A new national scientific poll of small business owners recently released, found that large majorities favor federal protection of clean water and agree that clean water is necessary for a healthy economy and job creation. Small business owners are important to policy debates because they are essential employers in their communities and considered by many policymakers to form the backbone of the nation’s economy.

The poll comes after the EPA released a major proposal, “Waters of the U.S.,” which clarifies that protections of the Clean Water Act should again be applied to headwater streams and certain wetlands, which provide drinking water supplies for one in three Americans.

Key findings from the poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners, include

  • 80% of small business owners favor federal protection of upstream headwaters and wetlands as proposed in the new “Waters of the U.S.” clean water rule of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Support for clean water was broad and deep regardless of political affiliation. A plurality of small business owners are Republican, but in this case 78% of Republicans and 73% of independents, joined 91% of Democrats in supporting the clarifying of federal rules to apply to headland waters and wetlands.
  • 71% of small business owners said that clean water is necessary for jobs and a healthy economy.
  • 67% of small business owners are concerned that water pollution could hurt their business in the future.
  • 62% of small business owners say that government regulation is needed to prevent water pollution.

“This national poll shows that most small business owners support exactly the same protection of clean water that the EPA has proposed in its “Waters of the U.S.” rule,” said Richard Eidlin, Director of Policy for the American Sustainable Business Council. “This makes perfect sense given the vital importance that clean water plays in running a successful business. Small business owners place a high value on clean water because they are concerned about potential damage to the economy from water pollution. They also believe that government regulation is needed to safeguard clean water.”

Also commenting on the poll was Kit Wood, Owner of Green Plate Catering, a local, in-season, organic and vegan food purveyor based near Washington, DC in Wheaton, MD. She said. “Like for many in the food industry, clean water is essential to my business. All of our local farmers depend on clean water of course, and we need clean water for our food preparation. I don’t want to use bottled water to boil rice.”

The live telephone, national scientific poll was conducted for the American Sustainable Business Council by Lake Research Partners, on June 4-10, 2014, of small business owners (2 to 99 employees), with a margin of error of +/- 4.2%.

About The American Sustainable Business Council
The American Sustainable Business Council and the ASBC Action Fund represent a membership network of 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. For more information, visit

Source: American Sustainable Business Council