U.S. House Passes an Unprecedented Assault on Clean Water
House passes H.R. 2018, the Dirty Water Act, in an unprecedented assault on clean water protections.
Note: National Wildlife Federation Action Fund supporters made hundreds of phone calls to their U.S. Representatives in the lead up to the final House vote on the Dirty Water Act, and all other attacks to the Clean Water Act, urging their member of Congress to oppose the legislation.
The Clean Water Act is
under unprecedented assault during this Congress, and today the House of
Representatives launched the biggest and most outrageous attack yet. Lawmakers
passed H.R. 2018, the "Dirty Water Act," which undermines Clean Water Act
safeguards and the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to do its job and
keep our waters clean and healthy.
"Passage of the Dirty Water Act in the House today signals an appalling
reversal from nearly four decades of bi-partisan clean water protections, taking
us back to a time when rivers caught fire because of rampant pollution," said Larry
Schweiger, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. "Make no
mistake: this bill would take the environmental cop off the beat and put at risk
drinking water for millions of people, the habitat for scores of wildlife, and
the jobs and economic growth that depends on a safer, cleaner environment."
The Dirty Water Act leaves downstream states unprotected from the pollution
of their upstream neighbors. And it puts scientific decisions made by the
Environmental Protection Agency in the hands of state level politicians and
Under H.R. 2018, when EPA scientists identify new water pollution threats
they will no longer be able to stop them unless states agree. Even worse, when
the EPA finds that a mining, development or civil works construction project
recklessly threatens public health and safety, destroys water resources or
wastes taxpayer dollars, it will be powerless to act.
"We are alarmed by this parade of pro-polluter bills marching through the
House. Given unprecedented budget cuts and other Clean Water rollbacks passed by
lawmakers, there is an insidious agenda to take the government out of the
business of protecting the environment for the well being of our children and
families," said Schweiger. "We applaud the Administration for signaling its strong opposition to the Dirty Water Act and
commend the 184 members of the House for voting against it – more than enough to
sustain a veto in the event it is warranted."
Cross-posted from www.nwf.org/news.