April 20, 2016
Our organizations, along with our millions of members and supporters, urge you to oppose all anti-environmental amendments proposed for inclusion in the Energy and Water Appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2017, including language that would undermine the Environmental Protection Agency’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ final Clean Water Rule.
The Clean Water Rule restores guaranteed pollution safeguards to a variety of our nation’s waterways, including the small streams 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, weak policies following 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.
The water crises in Flint, Toledo, Charleston, and communities around the country have unfortunately demonstrated just how vulnerable our drinking water sources are. Now more than ever, it is clear that we need stronger federal protections for our clean water, yet big polluters continue their efforts to undermine one of our most valuable tools, the Clean Water Rule.
The appropriations process should not be used to roll back fundamental health and environmental safeguards. We urge you to stand up for clean water by opposing amendments that undermine the Clean Water Rule, and further urge you to oppose all anti-environmental riders in the Energy and Water Appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2017.
Please visit Protectcleanwater.org for more information regarding the Clean Water Rule.
Thank you for your consideration,
Clean Water Action
Environmental Defense Fund
League of Conservation Voters
Natural Resources Defense Council
Southern Environmental Law Center