Dirty Politics Spilling into Your Clean Water
Even as we’re set to celebrate clean water in anticipation of the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, clean water is under attack.
This week, Senator Barrasso (R-WY) and Senator Heller (R-NV) plan to offer an amendment to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill (H.R. 2354) which would effectively prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from clarifying its rules on what waters are protected under the Clean Water Act.
Since 2001, more than 10,000 wetlands, streams, rivers, and lakes including over 5,000 sources of public drinking water supplies were declared unprotected by the Army Corps of Engineers based on two Supreme Court decisions which put protections for our waters into question. Preventing the Corps from addressing and clarifying the scope of the Clean Water Act will only put more of the water resources we rely upon for our drinking water and healthy rivers, lakes, and streams at risk.
This amendment is only the latest in a series of attacks that put polluters before people – threatening the protections that Americans rely upon to keep their rivers, lakes, and streams clean and safe. From legislation to weaken standards for coal ash disposal to the House-passed “Dirty Water Bill”, clean water has become a casualty of unfounded efforts to blame the bad economy on our public health safeguards.
In “Too Dirty to Fail” Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency argues that it’s time to stop the “assault on our environmental laws:”
“Using the economy as cover, and repeating unfounded claims that “regulations kill jobs,” they have pushed through an unprecedented rollback of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and our nation’s waste-disposal laws, all of which have successfully protected our families for decades… No credible economist links our current economic crisis — or any economic crisis — to tough clean-air and clean-water standards.”