Senate: Clean Water Protection Needed for All Waters

Clean Water Restoration Act fixes broken law, affirms that all U.S. waters should remain protected


Kathleen Sutcliffe, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500, ext. 235 

Today, Senators Russ Feingold (WI), EPW Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (CA), Water Subcommittee Chair and Benjamin Cardin (MD), and 20 other pro-clean water Senators introduced the Clean Water Restoration Act in the 111th Congress. This is urgently needed legislation that restores the true intent of Congress when it passed the Clean Water Act: to protect waters, including streams and wetlands, from pollution and destruction.

The following is a statement from Joan Mulhern, Earthjustice Senior Legislative Counsel, regarding the introduction of the Clean Water Restoration Act:

“Clean water is essential to life. And as winter gives way to spring, we are again reminded of that fact. We’re heartened by today’s introduction of the Clean Water Restoration Act, which will restore protections to our nation’s rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands that provide drinking water and recreation, protect communities from flooding, and serve as habitat for fish and wildlife.

“Today, our nation’s most important water law — the Clean Water Act — is badly broken. Eight years encompassing two bad U.S. Supreme Court decisions and numerous industry attacks on the law under the Bush administration have left thousands of waters without the federal pollution limits that had long protected them. We hope that today’s re-introduction will spur quick Congressional action. The nation’s waters and the communities that rely upon them cannot afford to wait any longer for this problem to be fixed.

“Senators Feingold, Boxer, and Cardin have led this effort in the Senate, and we thank them for their leadership.

“We hope the Obama administration will quickly give its full support to this measure. While on the campaign trail, President Obama said he would support legislation to restore protections to our nation’s waterways. The time to deliver that support is now.”

The Clean Water Restoration Act legislation was co-sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (OH), Maria Cantwell (WA), Thomas Carper (DE), Christopher Dodd (CT), Richard Durbin (IL), Kristen Gillibrand (NY), John Kerry (MA), Herbert Kohl (WI), Patrick Leahy (VT), Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Carl Levin (MI), Joseph Lieberman (CT), Robert Menendez (NJ), Jeff Merkely (OR), Jack Reed (RI), Bernard Sanders (VT), Charles Schumer (NY), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Ron Wyden (OR).

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