Congress Continues to Undermine Clean Water, Healthy Wetlands; House Interior Appropriations Bill Latest to Take Aim

The Izaak Walton League of America, National Wildlife Federation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Trout Unlimited issued the following statement today opposing a Clean Water Act rider in the House Interior Appropriations Bill:

06-20-2012 // Jan Goldman-Carter
Mangrove Channel

Over the past two weeks, both chambers in Congress have taken aim at the Clean Water Act with a flurry of amendments that undermine hunting, angling, and outdoor recreation traditions along with the economic activity driven by these sports. From appropriations and other bills in the House to amendments proposed to the Senate Farm Bill, protections for streams, wetland habitat, and drinking water for 117 million Americans are under attack.

We are deeply disappointed that some in Congress continue to try to block progress to restore Clean Water Act protections for streams, wetlands, and other waters. Once again, the House Interior Appropriations bill includes a rider barring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from finalizing and implementing science-based Clean Water Act guidance. Earlier this month, the House passed the Energy and Water bill with similar restrictions placed on the Army Corps of Engineers. By pushing these riders, members of Congress are out of step with the public. During a three-month public comment period last summer on draft Clean Water Act guidance, nearly 230,000 Americans commented, with 90 percent supporting the guidance.

The attacks on the Clean Water Act are unprecedented in recent memory. Not one, but a growing number of threats are converging on the water resources and fish and wildlife that matter most to sportsmen. Members of Congress should focus more on restoring protections for our waters than racing each other to tear them down and should work with EPA and the Corps to enable the agencies to effectively implement the Clean Water Act.

The Senate and Obama administration have consistently blocked damaging proposals from passing into law, turning aside every rider that has been attached to unrelated bills. Once again, the sportsmen conservationists of America call on Congress to reject the rider approved by the House Interior appropriations subcommittee today and allow the Clean Water Act to continue to do its job in sustaining hunting and fishing across the nation.

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