Don’t Let Your Senator Muddy the Waters on the Clean Water Rule

Your phone call will help clean up our waterways

Child at a lake.
The important rulemaking uses thousands of pages of peer-reviewed, scientific evidence to provide clarity as to which waters are covered by the Clean Water Act. (iStockphoto)

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Hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens, including nearly 40,000 Earthjustice supporters, weighed in over the past few weeks on a rule jointly proposed by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers that would restore long-standing Clean Water Act protections and provide clarity to the jurisdiction of this law that keeps toxic pollutants out of our cherished water sources.

This important rulemaking uses thousands of pages of peer-reviewed, scientific evidence to provide clarity as to which waters are covered by the Clean Water Act. It is a monumental step forward in restoring long-held protections under the Act and ensuring that millions of acres of wetlands and the drinking water supplies of over 117 million Americans are safeguarded from harmful pollution and degradation.

Unfortunately, despite a groundswell of voices from across the country supporting this Clean Water Rule, the Senate is considering adding language to a funding bill that would tie EPA’s hands from ever putting the rule into action. On Thursday of this week, the Senate Committee on Appropriations will markup an Energy and Water appropriations bill, and that very bill is likely to be amended in such a manner that would restrict agencies involved with this Clean Water Rule from using funding to advance the rule through the public process.

This action by Senate appropriators would not only be a fundamental step backward from policies that protect our waters so our families can drink, swim, and fish, but it would also, in essence, stifle the hundreds of thousands of voices that have supported this rule and availed themselves of the public comment process to have their voices heard.

The good news is that we have the power to push back. We can all roll up our sleeves and take 5 minutes of our time to urge Senate Appropriators to protect clean water and oppose the Waters of the U.S. rider … After all, 5 minutes is a small commitment to advancing what could be the most important rule protecting our waters in a generation.

If you live in the state of one of the following Senate Appropriators (see list below) call your senator at the U.S. Capitol Swithboard ((202) 224-3121) and ask him/her to oppose any amendments that prevent EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from restoring clean water protections to our streams and wetlands:

CALL YOUR SENATOR NOW:  Call the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.

Barbara Mikulski (MD)

Patrick Leahy (VT)

Tom Harkin (IA)

Patty Murray (WA)

Dianne Feinstein (CA)

Richard Durbin (IL)

Tim Johnson (SD)

Mary Landrieu (LA)

Jack Reed (RI)

Mark Pryor (AR)

Jon Tester (MT)

Tom Udall (NM)

Jeanne Shaheen (NH)

Jeff Merkley (OR)

Mark Begich (AK)

Chris Coons (DE)

Richard Shelby (AL)

Thad Cochran (MS)

Mitch McConnell (KY)

Lamar Alexander (TN)

Susan Collins (ME)

Lisa Murkowski (AK)

Lindsey Graham (SC)

Mark Kirk (IL)

Dan Coats (IN)

Roy Blunt (MO)

Jerry Moran (KS)

John Hoeven (ND)

Mike Johanns (NE)

John Boozman (AR)

Based in Washington, D.C., Chris is a legislative director for Climate & Energy on the Policy and Legislation team.

Established in 1989, Earthjustice's Policy & Legislation team works with champions in Congress to craft legislation that supports and extends our legal gains.

Earthjustice’s Washington, D.C., office works at the federal level to prevent air and water pollution, combat climate change, and protect natural areas. We also work with communities in the Mid-Atlantic region and elsewhere to address severe local environmental health problems, including exposures to dangerous air contaminants in toxic hot spots, sewage backups and overflows, chemical disasters, and contamination of drinking water. The D.C. office has been in operation since 1978.