Letter to Congress: Oppose All Ideological and Anti-Environmental Riders

November 19, 2015 (Download the letter here)

Dear Member of Congress:

Our organizations, along with our millions of members and supporters, urge you to oppose all ideological and anti-environmental riders proposed for inclusion in appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2016, including language that would undermine the Environmental Protection Agency’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ final Clean Water Rule.

The Clean Water Rule restores critical pollution safeguards to a variety of our nation’s waterways, including the small streams and wetlands that feed the drinking water of one in three Americans, and provides clarity and certainty to the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. For decades, the Clean Water Act provided comprehensive protections for water bodies across the country, from the smallest headwater streams to the giant Mississippi River. However, two Supreme Court decisions threw protections for some of our waterways into question. The Clean Water Rule helps protect the waters our children and grandchildren use to drink, swim, and play in.

To develop the Clean Water Rule, the agencies engaged in a very transparent and thorough process, including holding more than 400 stakeholder meetings, providing more than 200 days for public

comment, and conducting a detailed and open analysis and peer review of the science on which the rule is based. Over 800,000 people commented in support of the rule, and poll after poll has found small businesses, hunters and anglers, and a bipartisan majority of voters in favor of the Clean Water Rule and more protections for our water.

Yet, big polluters continue to pursue every angle to block these critical safeguards for our water. Having been unable to kill the rule through the normal legislative process, they are turning to the appropriations process to push their anti-clean water agenda in a last ditch effort to undermine this scientifically-sound, widely-supported rule. This is simply inappropriate. Congress should not use the appropriations process to roll back fundamental health and environmental safeguards. Big polluters are trying to force Congress to choose between clean water and keeping the government open- a ridiculous, dangerous, and false choice.

We urge you to stand up for clean water by opposing amendments and riders that undermine the Clean Water Rule, and further urge you to oppose all ideological riders in the appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2016.

Thank you for your consideration,

National Organizations:

American Rivers

American Sustainable Business Council

American Whitewater

BlueGreen Alliance

Clean Water Action

Earthjustice

Earthworks

Environment America

Food and Water Watch

GreenLatinos

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society

League of Conservation Voters

League of Women Voters of the United States

National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association (NLFRTA)

Natural Resources Defense Council

National Parks Conservation Association

River Network

Rural Coalition

Sierra Club

Southern Environmental Law Center

Surfrider Foundation

Voces Verdes

Regional, State, and Local Organizations:

350 Loudoun

Alabama Rivers Alliance

Alliance for the Great Lakes

Already Devalued and Devastated Homeowners of Parsippany Association (NJ)

Americas for Conservation & The Arts

American Littoral Society (NJ)

Amigos Bravos (NM)

Anacostia Riverkeeper (DC/MD)

Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions

Arkansas Public Policy Panel

Atlantic States Legal Foundation, Inc. (NY)

Audubon Naturalist Society (VA)

Azul (CA)

Bastrop County Environmental Network (TX)

Berks Gas Truth (PA)

Berkshire Environmental Action Team (MA)

California Coastal Protection Network

California League of Conservation Voters

California River Watch

California Wilderness Coalition

Center for Rural Affairs (NE)

Charles River Watershed Association (MA)

Charlestown Waterfront Coalition (MA)

Choose Clean Water Coalition

Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CT/NY)

Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge (CA)

Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park (VA)

Clean Air Council (PA)

Clean Water Action California

Clean Water Action Colorado

Clean Water Action Connecticut

Clean Water Action Florida

Clean Water Action Maryland

Clean Water Action Massachusetts

Clean Water Action Michigan

Clean Water Action Minnesota

Clean Water Action New Jersey

Clean Water Action Pennsylvania

Clean Water Action Rhode Island

Clean Water Action Texas

Clean Water Action Virginia

Clean Water for North Carolina

Community Water Center (CA)

Connecticut Citizen Action Group

Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice

Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound

Connecticut River Watershed Council

Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Conservation Colorado

Conservation Law Foundation

Conservation Minnesota

Conservation Pennsylvania

CURE (Clean Up the River Environment) (MN)

Delaware Nature Society

Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Ecology Center (MI)

Endangered Habitats League (CA)

Everglades Foundation

Everglades Trust (FL)

Environment California

Environment Colorado

Environment Florida

Environment Georgia

Environment Illinois

Environment Iowa

Environment Maine

Environment Massachusetts

Environment Michigan

Environment Minnesota

Environment Montana

Environment New Hampshire

Environment New Jersey

Environment New York

Environment North Carolina

Environment Oregon

Environment Texas

Environment Virginia

Environment Washington

Environmental Justice Center at Chestnut Hill United Church (PA)

Environmental Justice Coalition for Water (CA)

Environmental League of Massachusetts

Five Valleys Audubon Society (MT)

Florida Wildlife Federation

Foothill Conservancy (CA)

For Love of Water (FLOW) (MI)

Freshwater Future (MI)

Friends For Our Riverfront (TN)

Friends of Accotink Creek (VA)

Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest (MN)

Friends of Dyke Marsh (VA)

Friends of the Everglades (FL)

Friends of the Fox River (IL)

Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands Friends of Middle River (VA)

Friends of Middle River (VA)

Friends of the Mississippi River Friends of Penobscot Bay (ME)

Friends of the Weskeag (ME)

The Guardians of the Brandywine (PA)

Georges River Land Trust (ME)

Georgia River Network

GMO-Free PA

Grassroots Environmental Education (NY)

Great Lakes Environmental Law Center (MI)

Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities (MI)

Gulf Restoration Network

Headwaters Chapter, Izaak Walton League of America (OH)

Hoosier Environmental Council (IN)

Hop Brook Protection Association (MA)

Housatonic Valley Association (MA)

Illinois Council of Trout Unlimited

Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

Iowa Environmental Council

Ipswich River Watershed Association (MA)

Jones River Watershed Association (MA)

Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.

Kentucky Waterways Alliance

Keystone Trails Association (PA)

Kirkwood Lake Environmental Committee (NJ)

La Madre Tierra (CA)

Labadie Environmental Organization (MO)

Lake Champlain Committee (VT)

Land Stewardship Project (MN)

Lehigh Gap Nature Center (PA)

Lower Penns Creek Watershed Association (PA)

Maryland Conservation Council

Maryland League of Conservation Voters

Massachusetts Organization of State Engineers and Scientists

Massachusetts Rivers Alliance

Michigan Environmental Council

Michigan United

Midwest Environmental Advocates

Milwaukee Riverkeeper (WI)

Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

Minnesota Conservation Federation

Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Mountain Watershed Association (PA)

Montana Audubon

Montana Conservation Voters

Montgomery Countryside Alliance (MD)

MN350

Nature Abounds (PA)

Nebraska Wildlife Federation

Neponset River Watershed Association (MA)

NJ Citizen Action

New Jersey Conservation Foundation

NJ Highlands Coalition

New Jersey Tenants Organization

NY/NJ Baykeeper

NC Conservation Network

Northwest Environmental Advocates

OARS: For the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers (MA)

Ocean River Institute (MA)

Ohio River Foundation

Ohio Wetlands Association

Ohlone Audubon Society (CA)

Olympic Forest Coalition (WA)

Orca Network (WA)

PennEnvironment

PennFuture

Pennsylvania Council of Churches

Pennsylvania Farmers Union

Port Tobacco Conservancy (MD)

Potomac RiverKeeper Network (MD)

Prairie Rivers Network (IL)

Progress Florida

Progress Michigan

Progressive Congress (DC)

Protecting Our Waters (PA)

Raritan Headwaters Association (NJ)

Reef Relief (FL)

Religious Coalition for the Great Lakes

Rivers Alliance of Connecticut

Saint Mary’s Watershed Association (MD)

Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (FL)

Save Barnegat Bay (NJ)

Save Our Sky Blue Waters (MN)

Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition

Seventh Generation Advisors (CA)

Severn River Association (MD)

Shenandoah Riverkeeper (VA)

Sierra Club, Michigan Chapter

Sierra Club, NJ Chapter

South Fork Trinity Up-River Friends (CA)

Sound Action (WA)

South Jersey Land & Water Trust (NJ)

Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna (PA)

Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (NJ)

Suncoast Waterkeeper (FL)

Surfrider Foundation, Jersey Shore Chapter

Tennessee Clean Water Network

Texas Drought Project

The Sisters of St Francis Assisi Water Committee (WI)

Tobyhanna Creek/Tunkhannock Creek Watershed Association (PA)

Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Inc. (PA)

Upstate Forever (SC)

Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper (NY)

Vermont Natural Resources Council

Virginia Conservation Network

Water Supply Citizens Advisory Committee (MA)

Waterkeepers Chesapeake

Watershed Action Alliance of Southeastern Massachusetts

West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

Western Nebraska Resources Council

Westport Rivers Watershed Alliance (MA)

Wholly H2O (CA)

Wisconsin Environment

Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

Youghiogheny Riverkeeper (PA)

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