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:
Big 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 just finalized the 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.
Update: The EPA public comment period on this issue has closed. Clean Water Action mobilized almost 15,000 emails and letters during the public comment period. Read our full comments to EPA here.
The 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.
But "unconventional" operations - activities like fracking and other modern technologies that enable the industry to access previously untapped reserves of oil and gas - produce a different type of waste. Which is a problem. These plants were never designed to treat this new type of wastewater.
Sending this new wastewater to plants that were not designed to handle it allows toxic pollutants to get into local waterways – jeopardizing downstream drinking water and aquatic ecosystems. EPA's proposal is a step in the right direction to protect our water.
Defending Clean Water
Bottom line for our water: a strong Clean Water Rule must be in place before the end of 2015.
The rule is needed to restore fundamental Clean Water Act protections, clarifying once and for all what resources will be covered under the law. Until the rule is finalized, small streams and wetlands — including drinking water sources for more than one in three Americans — remain vulnerable to pollution and development.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency received 860,000 comments in support of this common-sense proposal. This outpouring of public sentiment in favor of clean water follows millions more calls, letters, emails and petition signatures mobilized by Clean Water Action and allies — more than on any other clean water issue — through our decade-long campaign. Read more
March 25, 2015 (Download the PDF here)