January 15, 2019
Contact: Amy Kober, 503-708-1145
Washington – As the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works prepares to consider President Trump’s nomination of Andrew Wheeler as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, American Rivers President and CEO Bob Irvin released the following statement:
“This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River catching fire in Cleveland, Ohio. The images of the flames engulfing the pollution-choked river galvanized the nation and spurred Americans nationwide to demand protections for clean water and the environment.
Today, those images remind us that we must not take our rivers for granted. Thanks to the Clean Water Act and leadership from past EPA Administrators, the Cuyahoga and rivers across the nation have a new lease on life. But that lease is fragile and, therefore, it is more important than ever that the American people stay vigilant, speak up and hold our leaders accountable if we want a future of clean water and healthy rivers.
The American people deserve an EPA Administrator who will safeguard our drinking water and the rivers that flow through our communities. Unfortunately, Andrew Wheeler has a track record of doing the opposite. As Acting Administrator, he has continued the assault on clean water safeguards, including the Clean Water Rule, putting the drinking water for millions of Americans at risk. Like his predecessor, Scott Pruitt, Mr. Wheeler has consistently prioritized polluters over people.
As communities nationwide continue to struggle with pollution, lead pipes, failing water infrastructure and scarce water supplies, this is not the time to weaken protections for our health and the environment. We need an EPA Administrator who will put the well-being of our families and communities first.”