Rare Joint Hearing in Congress to Address the Clean Water Protection Rule
Update: Feb 6, 2015
Senator Boxer set the tone for the hearing when she said “Let’s set aside fact from fiction… it’s time to restore the Clean Water Act!”
That is exactly what EPA and the Army Corps did. During the hearing EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Assistant Secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers Jo Ellen Darcy defended their proposed rule to clarify the Clean Water Act against Congressional attacks. Administrator McCarthy and Secretary Darcy were able to debunk myths related to the rulemaking as well as reassure Congress that the final rule is based on current peer reviewed science and that they have taken into account all the comments received on the proposed rule in order to make a final rule that is as clear as possible.
A huge thank you to everyone that reached out to their member of Congress asking them to support clean water. Congress responded! There was a great showing of Congressional support for the protection of clean water Wednesday with positive statements during the hearing as well as on social media.
Feb 4, 2015
Today there is a rare joint hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure focusing on “Impacts of the Proposed Waters of the United States Rule on State and Local Governments.”
The hearing will discuss the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) proposed rule regarding the Clean Water Act. The Committees have called before them Gina McCarthy from the EPA and Jo-Ellen Darcy from the Corps. There will also be a non-federal panel with three majority witnesses and two minority witnesses.
This hearing is a catalyst in the fight for protecting America’s water.
The EPA and the Army Corps proposed Clean Water Rule will restore protections to over half of America’s streams and millions of acres of wetlands. Although these important waters contribute to the drinking water supplies of one in three Americans they are currently vulnerable to degradation.
Unfortunately, polluters and their allies on Capitol Hill are not interested in protecting our nation’s waters.
Polluters are working overtime to stop the Clean Water Protection Rule from becoming finalized. They do not care that over 700,000 Americans wrote to EPA supporting the proposed Clean Water Rule. In order to protect America’s rivers, streams, oceans, bays, and drinking water supplies the EPA and the Corps need to be able finish the rulemaking process.
There is already anti- Clean Water Act legislation in the House, H.R. 594, entitled The United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, which was introduced by Representative Gosar (R-AZ) at the end of January. This bill prevents the EPA and the Corps from finalizing the proposed Clean Water Protection Rule. There is also forthcoming anti- Clean Water Act legislation in the Senate.
Help Spread the Word
We need our Congressional representatives to stand up for clean water before it is too late. Polluters are the only ones that benefit under the status quo.
If you’re on Twitter, tell the EPA that you support protecting clean water. Here are some tweets you can use:
Updated Feb 4, 11:28am: earlier post mentioned Senator Barasso’s intent to to introduce a bill at the hearing today that would stop the Proposed Clean Water Protection Rule from moving forward. This bill did not move forward.