House Water Legislation Should Protect Rivers and Taxpayers
Water Resources Development Act Should Not Weaken Critical Environmental Safeguards
House Republicans and Democrats plan to discuss draft water resources legislation at a news conference at 2 p.m. ET today. Late yesterday, 119 local and national conservation groups urged the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee not to use this bill to weaken existing laws that protect communities, taxpayers and the environment.
Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said this upon the release of the letter and in advance of the press conference:
"With this bill, the House has the opportunity to create 21st century solutions to water resource challenges that will protect the nation’s rivers, coasts, and wetlands. Given budget realities, this water bill should prioritize solving the country’s most pressing needs through cost-effective, non-damaging solutions.
"The Senate bill would move water policy backwards by gutting key safeguards to make it easier for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ‘green light’ environmentally and fiscally irresponsible projects. The Senate bill would approve billions of dollars of damaging projects through hidden earmarks and would increase the subsidies for the already heavily-subsidized navigation industry.
"Americans want the House to follow through on its promise to take a fundamentally different approach. The House should abandon attempts to cripple the review process and should instead embrace the need for public input into projects that affect the safety of millions of Americans and the integrity of our nation’s waterways."