Showing Support for the Clean Water Rule

Voices from all across the United States are standing up for the protection of clean water. Check out what folks are saying this week about the importance of clean and safe water in their lives. Gamesmanship by Republicans threatens Clean Water Rule – Chicago Sun Times, 12/11 “Big polluters and their allies in Congress are going to great lengths to repeal the rule. This is a serious threat to millions of Americans. That includes small businesses, those who participate in a $200 billion hunting and fishing economy, and families across the nation whose households’ drinking water depends on the sources the rule would protect. And it includes natural treasures of critical fresh waters such as the Great Lakes.” Paul Ryan can lead on a new path – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/12 “A current effort to defund the Clean Water Rule comes at a time when Wisconsin faces new challenges with water pollution — such as the emerging “dead zone” in Green Bay caused by pollutants in runoff from farms and cities that was recently exposed by the Journal Sentinel’s groundbreaking coverage.”  ...

Why we need the Clean Water Rule

By John Rumpler – Senior Attorney, Environment America Originally published here Why do we need federal protection under the Clean Water Act if there are also state laws designed to protect our rivers and streams? The answer is that, all too often, state officials fail to enforce their own laws or side with politically-powerful polluters. In November, we had a clear reminder of this pattern in North Carolina. Tar Heel state officials issued a permit allowing Martin Marietta to dump 12 million gallons of mining waste per day into Blounts Creek. The creek flows into the Pamlico River, which is known for fishing and camping. In response, two groups asked an administrative law judge to review the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) permitting decision. The judge ruled that the groups didn’t have a proper legal basis to challenge the permit. Without the federal Clean Water Act, that would be the end of the story. But NC DEQ implements its permitting program under the Act, and so it is required to adhere to its standards — including those governing the rights of citizens to challenge pollution permits. If those standards aren’t followed, EPA can strip the state’s “delegated” authority to implement the law and start enforcing it directly. Last week, EPA’s regional administrator warned North Carolina that the state’s failure to allow citizens groups to challenge pollution permits could lead EPA to intervene and enforce the Clean Water Act directly. State officials were quick to label the whole episode a “misunderstanding,” but EPA sure has their attention now. And needless to say, North Carolina is not alone. Groups in Wisconsin are urging EPA to intervene...

Showing Support for the Clean Water Rule

Voices from all across the United States are standing up for the protection of clean water. Check out what folks are saying this week about the importance of clean water in their lives. Clean Water Rule benefits all Pennsylvanians – Pocono Record, 12/5 “Contrary to what you may have heard, not all farmers oppose the Clean Water Rule. Farmers have long supported the fight to protect clean water. And we support the Clean Water Rule. It is long overdue and welcome. As we face increasingly desperate attempts to stop the Rule by a small group of special interests, we call on senators Casey and Toomey to stand with us and protect clean water.” Encourage Stabenow and Peters to stand up for clean water – Port Huron Times Herald, 12/5 “As the appropriations process comes to a close over the next few weeks, it’s more important than ever that Sens. Stabenow and Peters hear from those who love Michigan’s Great Lakes and its clean water economy. They need your support to continue to stand up for clean water.” There is no time to waste to ensure water safety – Renton Reporter, 12/5 “We hope the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will stay the course in the fight for more protective water quality standards for everyone who lives in Washington.” Kudos to senators for Clean Water Rule votes – Cape Gazette, 12/4 “The new Clean Water Rule protects 55 percent of the streams in Delaware, as well as the drinking water for 280,000 Delawareans. Unfortunately, it was recently under attack from a bill proposed by Sen. John Barrasso from Wyoming.” Arguments against EPA...

Senate Democrats Warn Against Anti-Environmental Riders in Omnibus, Secure Votes to Sustain Presidential Veto

Anti-environmental riders should have no place in the FY16 spending package WASHINGTON – Nearly two-thirds of the Senate Democratic Caucus, led by Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, are urging Senate appropriators to keep out and remove anti-environmental policy riders in forthcoming legislation to fund the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2016. The senators also are calling on President Obama to veto any omnibus spending package that includes policy riders that threaten environmental and public health by weakening or eliminating laws protecting air, land, water and wildlife. With the added support of Democrats in leadership positions, the senators are in a position to sustain a presidential veto, if needed. “At stake is access to clean water and clean air across our country,” said Senator Cardin. “After enduring previous government shutdowns and the crippling effects of sequestration, the American public is justifiably tired of divisive ideology and loyalty to special interests that threatens public health and the environment. We thought the two-year budget deal passed last month signaled a potential end to such gridlock. Anti-environmental riders that cater to special interests or reflect individual member’s distaste for certain agencies should have no place in the FY16 spending package. Mother Nature and the public health face enough external threats; Congress should not be one of them.” In the letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Vice Chairwoman Mikulski (D-Md.), the senators wrote, “Unfortunately, many of the appropriations bills approved this year have included deeply divisive policy riders that have no place in must pass legislation or in...