Today the Senate rejected an amendment by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) (Amendment #868) to the Water Resources Development Act (S. 601) that would deny federal Clean Water Act protections to the drinking water sources of 117 million Americans.
Senator Barrasso's amendment would have prevented the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from restoring vital Clean Water Act protections to 59 percent of the nation's streams and millions of acres of wetlands. Both agencies have spent the past two years in a public and transparent process to clarify protections for waters and better ensure that our rivers, lakes, and streams are protected and restored.
The following statement is from Martin Hayden, Earthjustice Vice President for Policy and Legislation:
"The Senate's rejection of Sen. Barrasso's dirty water amendment is a reassurance that even in a time of undue corporate polluter influence over our political system, the wants and needs of the American public can prevail. And the American public has been clear: They want clean water.
"It's unconscionable that some of our elected leaders think it's OK to attempt to gut the very safeguards that keep our water safe for our families to drink and swim, fish, and recreate in. But today those pro-polluter efforts failed, and our waters and communities will be safer and cleaner for it.
"Instead of taking swipes at our essential clean water and public health safeguards, our elected leaders should be strengthening our protections and working to guard our communities from toxic dumping and dangerous pollution. We hope the Senate continues to work for clean water, and that the Obama administration restores the protections to these streams and wetlands without any further delay.”
Liz Judge, Earthjustice, (202) 797-5237
Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.