National Wildlife Federation Denounces Underhanded Attempt to Gut Clean Water Act

Dirty Waters Bill undermines bedrock environmental protections for water and wetlands

06-22-2011 // Mekell Mikell
Bayshore Park Nature Preserve

Today, lawmakers in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee launched a legislative assault on the Clean Water Act as they passed H.R. 2018, a bill to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from curbing water pollution, reducing the destruction of wetlands and the harmful impacts of mountaintop removal mining. The bill, sponsored by Chairman John Mica (R-FL) and ranking member Nick Rahall (D-WV), will restrict Clean Water Act protections and dramatically weaken the federal-state partnership that has been protecting America’s waters since 1972.

H.R. 2018, the Mica/Rahall Dirty Waters Bill, strikes at Clean Water Act protections in two ways. First, it removes the EPA’s authority – which was created by Congress through bipartisan legislation to protect American’s public health – to ensure clean water quality standards. Second, the bill restricts the agency’s ability to protect the nation’s waters from discharges of dredge and fill material.

“Of all of the recent attacks on the Clean Water Act, H.R. 2018 is, by far, the most egregious,” said Adam Kolton, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation’s National Advocacy Center. “By putting big polluters’ interests first, this bill is a threat to every American who counts on clean water from the tap, healthy rivers and streams to swim and fish in, and enjoys the majesty of our nation’s Great Waters.”

H.R. 2018 will create a jumble of confusing and inconsistent water quality standards around the country that will hurt all Americans. This dangerous and irresponsible bill, rushed through markup and hastily voted on in committee, now heads to the full House of Representatives. The National Wildlife Federation urges Congress to preserve its environmental legacy and the clean and healthy waters on which we all depend.

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