Today, Representatives James L. Oberstar (D-MN), John Dingell (D-MI), and Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), introduced the Clean Water Restoration Act, important bi-partisan legislation that reaffirms and restores the true intent of the Clean Water Act to protect waters, including streams and wetlands, under federal law. A copy of the legislation is available here.
The bill was introduced with the largest number yet of original cosponsors for this clean water bill — more than 150 of their colleagues joined Representatives Oberstar, Ehlers and Dingell as co-sponsors of this important legislation.
The following is a statement from Joan Mulhern, Earthjustice Senior Legislative Counsel, regarding the introduction of the Clean Water Restoration Act:
“Clean water is one of our nation’s most precious natural assets. Headwater streams and wetlands are an important part of this vital resource. With the Memorial Day weekend and the start of summer almost here, Americans will be reminded why the goals of the Clean Water Act — including making all waters safe for fishing and swimming — are so important.
“Our country’s rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands depend on federal protections to guarantee that pollution does not poison or destroy these waters. But the law cannot work unless all of the nation’s waters important to the health of the whole system are protected. Pollution has to be eliminated at its source.
“That is why the Clean Water Restoration Act is needed, now more than ever. Efforts by polluters in the courts and before federal agencies are trying to effectively repeal the Clean Water Act for up to 60 percent of the nation’s streams, creeks, and rivers and tens of millions of acres of wetlands.
“Representatives Oberstar, Dingell and Ehlers are leading the fight to clean our waters. We applaud their leadership on this issue, along with the support of the more than 150 other members of the House who are original co-sponsors — a new, high-water mark. We also applaud Senator Russ Feingold, who has led this effort on the Senate side and whom we expect to reintroduce his bill again soon.
“The Clean Water Restoration Act reaffirms what Congress knew when it passed the Clean Water Act in 1972: that all Americans want and deserve clean rivers, lakes, wetlands, streams and other waters.”