Find a copy of this research in Google Docs format here.


David Perdue has a long record of opposing protections for clean water, especially the Clean Water Rule, aka the Waters of the United States rule adopted in 2015 to keep our drinking water and other bodies of water safe.

Perdue pushed President Trump to get rid of the Clean Water Rule and Trump eventually credited Perdue with having “helped lead the effort”.

Perdue’s push to upend the rule resulted in two campaign donors being rewarded with a controversial mining permit in Georgia.

While the Trump administration worked to undermine the Clean Water Rule, Perdue was working with his donors, executives at Twin Pines Minerals, on their permit to mine near the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge. 

The permit application was under intense scrutiny from the Army Corps of Engineers because it potentially would violate the existing Clean Water Rule by damaging the fragile ecosystem. Perdue’s office received monthly updates on the status of the permit application.

Local and national groups warned the Twin Pine’s mine could “substantially degrade” the more than 400,000-acre protected area and over 20,000 comments were filed on the Twin Pines’ permit application.

After the Clean Water Rule was eliminated, the Army Corps of Engineers decided it no longer had legal jurisdiction over the Twin Pines project, and a federal permit was no longer needed.

Twin Pines has no record of lobbying the federal government prior to needing the permit but in the last two years has spent $325,000 on lobbying. 

Steven Ingle, the president of Twin Pines, has no record of donating to a federal election campaign until 2020, when he made the maximum contribution allowed to Sen. Perdue’s campaign.


Since 2015, Perdue has vocally opposed clean water protections under the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rules. 

Perdue Pushed Donald Trump To Roll Back Clean Water Protections.

Repeal of the WOTUS rule benefitted executives of a mining company who gave big contributions to Perdue’s campaign and have a record of pollution problems.

Perdue has a long record of opposing other protections for clean water



Note: the “Waters of the United States rule” or “WOTUS” is synonymous with the 2015 “clean water rule” issued by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers

In 2015, Perdue Voted To Block Implementation Of The EPA And Army Corps of Engineers’ Clean Water Rule. [LCV ScorecardS.1140 Senate Roll Call Vote #295, 11/3/2015]

In 2015, Perdue Voted For S.J. Res. 22, Which Voided The EPA And Army Corps Of Engineers’ Clean Water Rule’s Protections. [LCV ScorecardS.J. Res. 22 Senate Roll Call Vote #297, 11/4/2015]

In 2015, Perdue Co-Sponsored S.1140 Legislation To Halt The EPA’s Implementation Of The Clean Water Protections. [S.1140, Introduced 4/20/2015; Co-Sponsored 5/5/2015

In 2016, Perdue Voted For An Amendment To Prohibit The EPA And Army Corps of Engineer’s Implementation Of The Clean Water Rule. [LCV ScorecardH.R. 2028 SA 3811, Senate Roll Call Vote #57, 4/21/2016]

Since 2015, Purdue Has Vocally Opposed The Obama-Era Waters Of The United States Rule. According to a March 2015 press release from Perdue’s Senate office: “U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today highlighted his opposition to the proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would drastically redefine, which waters are subjected to regulatory requirements under the Clean Water Act.” [Perdue.Senate.Gov, Press Release, 3/24/2015]

Perdue Slammed The Clean Water Protections As “Nothing Short Of Blatant Government Overreach.”According to a March 2015 press release from Perdue’s Senate office: “‘The EPA’s proposed rule is nothing short of blatant government overreach and I have serious concerns about the consequences it could have for Georgia,’ said Senator Perdue. ‘Georgians are fed up with Washington because of burdensome rules and regulations that negatively impact our farmers, small businesses, and private citizens.’” [Perdue.Senate.Gov, Press Release, 3/24/2015]

Praise For Trump’s Attack On Clean Water Protections

In December 2017, David Perdue Met With Donald Trump To Discuss His First 100 Days Agenda. In a statement given to McClatchy, Caroline Vanvick, a spokeswoman for Senator David Perdue said: “As a fellow businessman and outsider himself, Sen. Perdue was invited to Trump Tower to discuss working together to advance President-elect Trump’s 100-day plan in the Senate and changing the direction of our country.” [McClatchy, 12/2/2016]

David Perdue Publicly Called For Trump To Start His First 100 Days Agenda By Repealing The Waters Of The U.S. Rule. In an op-ed published in the Rome News-Tribune, Senator David Perdue said: “President-elect Donald J. Trump’s first 100 days in office are an enormous moment of opportunity to begin turning the page. We need to put patients in charge of their health care choices with a free-market solution that increases access and lowers the overall spiraling costs of health care, which Obamacare did nothing to address. We need to undo the regulatory regime and scale back the power of unelected bureaucrats. Let’s start with the EPA’s onerous Waters of the U.S. Act and Clean Power Plan, things we know are crushing farmers, land owners and small businesses right here in Georgia.” [Rome News-Tribune, 1/1/2017]

In February 2017, Perdue Applauded Trump’s Executive Order To Reverse The WOTUS Rule. According to a February 2020 press release from Perdue’s Senate office: “U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, responded to President Donald J. Trump’s executive order to reverse the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Waters of the US’ (WOTUS) rule: ‘President Trump’s action to roll back the EPA’s overreach is a step in the right direction to help Georgia’s farmers and agriculture industry. Overturning President Obama’s harmful WOTUS rule is a resounding victory for our state and for the entire country. The last thing farmers need is more bureaucracy and invasion of private property rights.’” [Perdue.Senate.Gov, Press Release, 2/28/2017]

In June 2017, Perdue Praised The EPA’s Decision To Take Action To Roll Back Clean Water Protections. According to a June 2017 press release from Perdue’s Senate office: “U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) praised Tuesday’s announcement by the Trump administration that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will take action to begin rolling back an ill-conceived regulation from the Obama administration known as ‘Waters of the United States.’ […] ‘This is a huge victory for our farmers, businesses, ranchers, and landowners,’ said Senator Perdue. ‘We all finally have a President who is taking our concerns seriously. This Obama-era rule was a blatant overreach from the federal government. Immediately after the rule was announced, Georgians pleaded with the government to not overregulate their land. I worked directly with our Georgia farmers to raise the issue with the federal government. This is just one example of how President Trump and a Republican-led Congress are reversing the onerous regulations that have sucked the life out of our free-enterprise system.’” [Perdue.Senate.Gov, Press Release, 6/28/2017]

In 2018, Perdue Lauded The Trump Administration’s Repeal Of EPA and Army Corps Of Engineers Water Protections As A “Huge Win.” According to a December 2018 press release from Perdue’s Senate office: “U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineer’s new proposal to reduce federal regulations on water resources and replace President Obama’s overreaching Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule: ‘This is a huge win for farmers, businesses, ranchers, and landowners in Georgia and across the country,’ said Senator Perdue.” [Senate.Perdue.Gov, Press Release, 12/11/2018]

Trump Credits Perdue For Leading Effort Against WOTUS

Donald Trump Credited David Perdue With Having Lead The Effort To Repeal The Waters Of The United States Rule. At a campaign rally for David Perdue, Donald Trump said: “He fought to pass the largest package, David, of tax cuts and reforms in American history. He helped lead the effort to repeal a record number of job killing regulations, the likes of which you’ve never seen, including the unfair Waters of the United States Rule that crippled work for our farmers and our builders. It’s such a beautiful name, but it was destroying people and I’ll never… Waters of the United… How beautiful is that? Waters of the United States. And I said, ‘I got to get rid of it. I got to do it, but I’m going to get killed.’ Because the only thing good about it was the title. Waters. ‘What are you doing today? I’m terminating waters of the United States.’” [Donald Trump remarks at a rally in Valdosta, GA, 12/5/2020]

Impact On Plans For Twin Pines Minerals

March 2019: Twin Pines Minerals Executives Gave The Maximum Allowable Contributions To David Perdue’s Re-Election Campaign. On November 25, 2020, the Washington Post reported “[Twin Pines Minerals President Steven] Ingle and another executive, Raymon Bean, have made the maximum allowable contributions to Perdue’s primary and general senatorial campaigns and have met with the senator and his staff to make their case.” According to FEC records, Steven R Ingle and Raymon Bean contributed $5,600 each (with $2,800 each designated towards for the primary election and $2,800 each designated for the general election) to the Perdue for Senate committee on March 31, 2019 [Washington Post, 11/25/]

July 2019: Twin Pines Minerals Sought A Permit To Mine For Titanium Near The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. In July of 2019, the Savannah Morning News reported: “A company is seeking permits to mine minerals near the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp, a vast untamed wilderness that’s home to the largest national wildlife refuge in the eastern U.S. The proposal comes 20 years after chemical giant DuPont abandoned plans to mine outside the Okefenokee amid staunch opposition from environmentalists and the administration of then-President Bill Clinton. Critics feared irreparable harm to the swamp’s fragile ecosystem that serves as habitat to alligators, bald eagles and other protected species. Now Twin Pines Minerals LLC of Birmingham, Alabama, wants federal and state permits to mine titanium dioxide less than 4 miles from the southeastern boundary of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, according to records filed Friday by the Army Corps of Engineers.” [Savannah Morning News, 7/17/2019]

August-September 2019: Twin Pines Minerals Took On Federal Lobbying Firms For The First Time In The Summer Of 2019 And Paid Them At Least $325,000. According to lobbying disclosure reports filed with the Senate Office of Public Records, Twin Pines Minerals was first registered as a lobbying client of the firm Potomac South LLC on August 29, 2019. Twin Pines Minerals was also registered as a client of Cornerstone Government Affairs Inc on September 17, 2019. Both firms disclosed payments from Twin Pines Minerals for lobbying work in each quarterly perdiod since their initial registration, with payments totalling $325,000. [Senate Office of Public Records, accessed 12/18/2020]

Perdue’s Office Received Monthly Updates From The Army Corps Of Engineers On The Twin Pines Minerals Permit Application. In October of 2020, the Savannah Morning News reported: “The Corps has been providing monthly updates on the Twin Pines’ project to staffers of Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, both Republicans. The last such update, via telephone, was Oct. 7, just a week before the Corps determined no wetlands were involved in the plan. The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 4, according to internal correspondence provided by the Corps. Perdue spokeswoman Jenni Sweat said such meetings aren’t unusual.” [Savannah Morning News, 10/23/2020]

January 2020: WOTUS/Clean Water Rule Rollback Was Finalized On January 23, 2020. In January of 2020, the New York Times reported: “The Trump administration on Thursday finalized a rule to strip away environmental protections for streams, wetlands and groundwater, handing a victory to farmers, fossil fuel producers and real estate developers who said Obama-era rules had shackled them with onerous and unnecessary burdens. From Day 1 of his administration, President Trump vowed to repeal President Barack Obama’s ‘Waters of the United States’ regulation, which had frustrated rural landowners. His new rule, which will be implemented in about 60 days, is the latest step in the Trump administration’s push to repeal or weaken nearly 100 environmental rules and laws, loosening or eliminating rules on climate change, clean air, chemical pollution, coal mining, oil drilling and endangered species protections.” [New York Times, 1/22/2020]

October 2020: With Clean Water Act Protections Stripped, Twin Pines Minerals No Longer Needed A Federal Permit For Their Planned Mine. In October of 2020, the Savannah Morning News reported: “Plans to mine near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge got a boost earlier this week when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took another look at the proposed mining site and decided it didn’t include about 400 acres of wetlands after all. The land itself hadn’t changed in the year or so since the corps first mapped out the swampy areas, but the definition of a wetland did. The Trump administration’s final ‘Navigable Waters Protection Rule’ went into effect in June, removing or reducing Clean Water Act protections from millions of miles of streams and acres of wetlands nationwide. Removal of those protections means Alabama-based Twin Pines Minerals now needs only state approval, not federal, to mine for titanium and other minerals on land less than four miles from the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Environmental groups oppose the plan, first announced in 2019, saying it risks harming the refuge, one of the world’s largest intact freshwater ecosystems.” [Savannah Morning News, 10/23/2020]


Stream Protection Rule Opposition

In 2017, Perdue Voted For H.J. Res. 38 Language To Block The U.S. Department Of The Interior’s Stream Protection Rule. [LCV Scorecard;  H.J.Res. 38 Senate Vote #43, 2/2/2017]  

The Legislation, H.J. Res. 38, Threatened The Drinking Water And Public Health Of Communities Living Near Coal Mining Operations By Permanently Blocking The Clean Water Protections. According to LCV: “ Representative Bill Johnson (R-OH) sponsored H.J. Res. 38, the Congressional Review Act “Resolution of Disapproval” of the Stream Protection Rule, which would threaten the drinking water and public health of communities living near coal mining operations by permanently blocking the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Stream Protection Rule.” [LCV Scorecard, Accessed 12/17/2020]

The Stream Protection Rule Set Requirements For The Coal Mining Industry To Better Protect Water From Toxic Waste Linked To Health Defects. According to LCV: “This important rule set commonsense requirements for coal mining to better protect ground water, surface water, and ecosystems from toxic coal mining waste, which has been linked to increased rates of cancer, birth defects, and other health problems in nearby communities.” [LCV Scorecard, Accessed 12/17/2020]

6,000 Miles Of Streams And 52,000 Acres Of Forest Were Protected Under The Rule. According to LCV: “The rule protects 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests, set up new requirements for water quality monitoring and restoration, and generally compels coal mining companies to reduce their impact on the surrounding environment.” [LCV Scorecard, Accessed 12/17/2020]

PFAS Cleanup

David Perdue Voted Against Forcing The Department Of Defense To Clean Up PFAS Chemicals. In a markup of a Department of Defense authorization bill, David Perdue voted against a motion “to include a provision to require action by the Department of Defense with respect to the release of perfluoroalkyl substances and polyfluoroalkyl substances by the Department.” [Senate Committee on Armed Services report 116-236 on S.4049, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 (Page 622)]

PFAS Chemicals Were Linked To Kidney And Testicular Cancer, Hypertension, And Other Diseases. In January of 2019, Politico reported: “The chemicals, known as PFOA and PFOS, have been linked to kidney and testicular cancer, hypertension and other ailments. Major chemical companies like 3M as well as the Defense Department would face billions of dollars in liability from aggressive efforts to regulate and clean up the chemical, which has contaminated groundwater near hundreds of military bases and chemical plants.” [Politico, 1/28/2019]

PFAS Chemicals Have Been Found On Military Bases And Surrounding Communities, Including 401 Active And Former Bases. In December of 2019, NBC News reported: “PFAS is a family of chemicals defined by the presence of one or several carbon-flourine bonds, the strongest chemical bond in nature. The chemicals, which have a unique ability to repel water, grease and other substances, have been used in a variety of products since the 1940s, including Teflon cookware and Scotchgard. They are also a key ingredient in firefighting foam, used by the DOD since at least the 1970s. That foam is the suspected source of PFAS contamination discovered on bases and surrounding communities, including at least 401 sites on active and former bases where the chemicals were released or a suspected discharge occurred. The military has launched an effort to clean up the contamination — a task expected to cost about $2 billion.” [NBC News, 12/16/2019]

Votes To Protect Polluters

In 2015, Perdue Voted Against S.1 Admt. 48, Which Would Have Closed A Loophole Exempting Fracking From Regulation Under The Safe Drinking Water Act. [LCV ScorecardS.1 SA 48; Senate Roll Call Vote #41, 1/28/2015]

In 2015, Perdue Voted Against Legislation To Close A Loophole Exempting Tar Sands Producers From Paying Into The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.  [LCV Scorecard;  S.1 Senate Roll Call Vote #19, 1/22/2015]  

Other Votes Against Clean Water

In 2016, Perdue Voted Against Establishing A Water Conservation Program For The Colorado River System. [LCV Scorecard; H.R. 2028 SA 3805, Senate Roll Call Vote #62, 4/26/2016]

In 2018, Perdue Voted For An Amendment To Expose U.S. Waterways To Invasive Species By Exempting The Shipping Industry From Requirements Under The Clean Water Act. [LCV ScorecardS.140 Senate Roll Call Vote #77, 4/18/2018]