The Importance of Protecting Clean Water Barely Heard in Clean Water Rule Hearing

Fall Creek Monroe Co. Pocono Plateau, PA | © Nicholas A. Tonelli

The EPA needs to finalize a strong rule that protects clean water | © Nicholas A. Tonelli

The odds were stacked heavily against much discussion about the benefits to public health, drinking water supplies, and healthier rivers from the EPA and the Army Corps’ proposed Clean Water Rule during Monday’s field hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Representative Shuster led the hearing from his home district in Pennsylvania, entitled “Federal Regulation of Waters: Impacts of Administration Overreach on Local Economies and Job Creation.” The panel consisted of witnesses from the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Rice Energy, the National Association of Home Builders, CONSOL Energy, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Many of the witnesses spoke about uncertain permitting reviews, delays, federal overreach, and high costs.

Of little debate was the importance of clean water to farmers, industry, and families. Yet, maintaining the status quo of uncertainty and declining enforcement continues to leave the small streams and wetlands that contribute to the drinking water of 117 million Americans vulnerable to pollution. Delays and declining enforcement [PDF] as the agencies are forced to pursue resource-intensive case-by-case analysis are just as problematic for clean water as they are for businesses.

The proposed Clean Water Rule is an important step forward to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act. Through the public comment process, we will continue to work to strengthen the draft rule to get closer to historical protections. Help us stand up for clean water and ask the EPA to finalize a strong rule that protects clean water for our rivers and the communities that rely upon them.

3 Responses to “The Importance of Protecting Clean Water Barely Heard in Clean Water Rule Hearing”

Price Holmes

When it come to clean water vs jobs; I choose clean water! I hope the names of these people and organizations that try and sometimes weaken our environmental laws are recorded so future generations will know who destroyed our environment and why our country is a waste land.

    Debbie Weidner

    I will always choose clean water. The jobs gained can never make up for all the environmental problems linked to fracking. Ohio has just confirmed their earthquakes are linked to fracking. People are starting to understand the devastating affects of fracking and refusing to allow it. Keep the education going!

Michelle McDonald

It is time that corporations story speaking for individual citizens. It is the taxpaying citizen that votes and it seems that their wishes and concerns are never heard or addressed. That is supposed to be the reason for public involvement meetings. Corporations have meetings with public officials yet the concerns of the average voting citizen go unheard. Our natural resources should not continually be sacrificed for yet another dollars to line the wealthy pockets of a few. You will see in the future that wars will be fought over water. America should do what they can today to protect our water sources at all costs. Remember, even that water you so conveniently purchase from the store comes from our rivers and streams. Think about the big picture for a change and our future generations. To continue to ignore citizens right to clean water will result in your and my grandchildren not having water to drink.