Energy and Water Bill Must Not Harm Water, Wildlife

“Ultimately, we are unable to support passage of the bill as it stands. "

WASHINGTON – The House Committee on Appropriations is set to mark up the 2019 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. Jan Goldman-Carter, the director of wetlands and water resources for the National Wildlife Federation, made the following statement in advance of the markup:

“Unfortunately, the current draft of the energy and water bill contains unacceptable provisions that would harm our waters and wildlife. The bill would repeal the commonsense Clean Water Rule which protects smaller streams and wetlands, weakening protections for the drinking water of one-third of Americans. Poll after poll has shown that these protections are widely popular with the public. Scrapping this rule without thoughtful deliberation and debate is irresponsible.” 

“The draft contains other problematic language such as a rider would that would harm endangered salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River basin. This provision would block court-ordered releases of water for juvenile fish, exacerbating ongoing population declines—and harming communities, tribes and businesses.

“We appreciate the committee’s commitment to important ecosystem restoration efforts like those in the Great Lakes and the Everglades. However, the allocation in this bill for the Everglades will not take full advantage of the cost-share offered by the state of Florida. Restoring the Everglades will generate huge economic and ecological returns—we should not leave money on the table and potentially further delay this already long-overdue effort.

“Ultimately, we are unable to support passage of the bill as it stands. We urge the committee to remove the damaging ‘poison pill’ riders and to pass balanced, focused legislation that will restore key ecosystems without undermining the Clean Water Act or the Endangered Species Act."

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