Interior and EPA Bill Must Not Harm Water, Wildlife

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Committee on Appropriations is set to mark up the 2019 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. Laura Daniel Davis, the National Wildlife Federation’s Vice President, Conservation Strategy, made the following statement in advance of the markup:

“Unfortunately, the current draft of the Interior and EPA bill contains unacceptable provisions that would harm our waters, wildlife, and outdoor heritage. 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.  This would put the drinking water of 117 million Americans and our nation’s $200 billion fishing and hunting economy at risk. 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 also contains harmful riders that undermine Endangered Species Act protections for sage grouse, gray wolves, and other endangered and threatened wildlife. The appropriations process should not be used to roll back fundamental public health and environmental safeguards like the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. 

“While we applaud the committee for maintaining level funding for many important conservation programs, the damaging policy riders included in the draft bill would undermine our ability to protect our nation’s waters, wildlife, and outdoor heritage.

“Ultimately, we are unable to support passage of the bill as it stands. We urge the committee to remove the damaging and unacceptable riders and to pass balanced, focused legislation that will conserve our waters and wildlife habitat without undermining the Clean Water Act or the Endangered Species Act."

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