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Tell Congress to Stand up for Clean Water

Why the Clean Water Rule is ImportantBig Polluters and their Dirty Water Allies in Congress are trying to block progress on closing polluter loopholes in the Clean Water Act.  Contact Congress today and tell them you want them to stand up for your right to clean water!

Thanks to hundreds of thousands clean water supporters, the decade-long campaign to restore protections for wetlands and streams is nearing the finish line.  The Obama administration will soon finish a new Clean Water Rule to close these polluter loopholes and ensure that the drinking water sources for 1 and 3 Americans are better protected from pollution and development.  Polluters and their Dirty Water allies in Congress must not be allowed to stop or delay this long overdue progress for our water.

Tell Congress you want them to protect our nation’s vital water resources.   If polluters are successful at blocking the Clean Water Rule, over 60% of our nation’s streams will remain vulnerable to pollution and development. 

The Aquifer Exemption Program

Executive Summary

A little known provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Underground Injection Control (UIC) program allows certain oil and gas and mining activity to occur in groundwater that would otherwise be protected as a drinking water source. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the program in the early days of SDWA implementation to respond to oil and gas interests who cited SDWA language which states that EPA “may not prescribe requirements for state UIC programs which interfere with or impede” the injection of fluids associated with oil and gas production. Extraction proponents argued that certain energy extraction activities would not be able to continue if all underground sources of drinking water everywhere were protected. As a result, an aquifer is now eligible for an exemption if it meets certain regulatory criteria.

Regulating Oil & Gas Activities to Protect Drinking Water

When the U.S. Congress first passed the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)  in 1974,  it authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a program to protect vital under- ground drinking water resources from risks of industrial activities in which fluid is injected
into the ground. However, Congress also included language mandating that EPA not “interfere with or impede” oil and gas production unless it is “absolutely essential” in order to protect underground sources of drinking water.

The regulatory and legislative history of the SDWA Underground Injection Control Program (UIC) demonstrates the impact of this language on the UIC program’s evolution.

You + Me + Congress = Action on Climate and Energy Legislation!

post by Christine LeMieux, Global Warming and Energy Programs Coordinator

While media headlines as of late are dominated by the latest healthcare happenings on the Hill, progress on climate and energy legislation continues. Both issues are related to critical questions about how we will take care of our public health and our economy in the coming decades. Over the past month, 6 Senate committees have held hearings and action is expected after Congress returns from recess in September. 

Groups Oppose S. 1140

American Rivers • BlueGreen Alliance • Clean Water Action • Earthjustice • Environment America• League of Conservation Voters • Natural Resources Defense Council • Prairie Rivers Network • Sierra Club • Southern Environmental Law Center

May 15, 2015 (Download the letter here)

Dear Senator:

The undersigned organizations, and our millions of members and supporters, oppose S. 1140, the so-called “Federal Water Quality Protection Act,” which will be the subject of a hearing in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife, on May 19, 2015.

Over 2,000 Groups Urge Opposition to Fast Track

Download the full letter to view all of the signatories.

April 27, 2015

Re: Please Oppose “The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act”  

Dear Representative/Senator:

The undersigned organizations urge you to oppose the Ryan-Hatch Fast Track bill formally dubbed
“The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.”

Letters to Congress, RE: 2016 Budget

Clean Water Action Statement on Another Dirty Water Bill to Stop The Clean Water Rule

Today U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and eleven other Senators introduced a bill to stop the Clean Water Rule and require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to start the entire rulemaking process over. This is the third time this week that Congress is attempting to interfere in this process.

Clean Water Action President and CEO, Robert Wendelgass, released the following statement:

Published On: 
04/30/2015 - 09:44

Help Stop the Oil and Gas Industry from Polluting Our Local Rivers, Lakes and Bays

Take action now and tell EPA you support a full prohibition on unconventional oil and gas wastewater being sent to publicly owned treatment works.

Now is the time to update the the rules to reflect the new environmental threats of modern oil and gas operations. Take action today.

Stopping the Oil and Gas Industry from Polluting Our Local Rivers, Lakes and Bays

Graphic: Don't Let Oil and Gas Wastewater Pollute our Rivers, Lakes, and BaysThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is updating a 30 year old Clean Water Act program which regulates what type of waste oil and gas companies can send to sewer treatment plants, or publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) for disposal. In the past oil and gas companies have sent millions of gallons of their wastewater to these sewage treatment plants, which then discharge it to our rivers, lakes and bays.
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