June 18, 2009
Virginia Cramer, 804-225-9113 x 102
Congress Takes Up Clean Water
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a compromise version of the Clean Water Restoration Act today. The bill seeks to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act, which for decades has protected our waterways from industrial waste, sewage, oil spills and other pollutants. The objective of the Clean Water Restoration Act is to restore the protections that wetlands, streams, lakes and drinking water sources enjoyed before Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006. Read our new report for more information on how the decisions put our waters at risk.
In response Ed Hopkins, Director of the Sierra Club’s Environmental Quality Program, issued the following statement.
“Today’s compromise marks an important start to the process of reaffirming protections for many of our nation’s vital water sources. However it does not ensure the permanent clean water protections that people, as well as fish, ducks and other wildlife require as clearly as the original bill introduced by Senator Feingold.
“We will work to strengthen this bill as it moves forward to ensure that the full constitutional authority of Congress is used to protect our waters and to eliminate new statutory loopholes.
“Despite the shortcomings in the compromise, it is important that the process continues. Congress’ continued failure to act will only result in the destruction and pollution of more valuable waterways.”