WASHINGTON, DC— Hours after the senate environment committee approved a measure to derail the EPA’s new Clean Water Rule on Wednesday, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken declared their opposition to the bill (S.1140). Environment Minnesota, which is running a robust campaign effort to support the clean water rule, praised both senators for defending Minnesota’s lakes and other waters.
“Senators Klobuchar and Franken have now rejected polluters’ latest attack on the clean water rule,” said John Rumpler, senior attorney for Environment Minnesota. “That is great news for all Minnesotans who cherish swimming, fishing, or boating in our lakes every summer.”
The EPA’s new Clean Water Rule restores Clean Water Act protections to thousands of Minnesota waters, including more than half the state’s streams, which help provide drinking water to nearly 1 million Minnesotans. Backed by numerous scientific studies and overwhelming public support, the rule has come under withering attack from corporate agribusiness and the oil and gas industry.
Observers have counted Senator Klobuchar among a handful of senators who could determine whether the Clean Water Rule withstands their assaults. And while both Minnesota senators have now rejected S.1140, other attacks are coming soon – including an appropriations rider expected next week or measures to weaken or delay the Clean Water Rule rather than invalidate it.
To defend the Clean Water Rule, Environment Minnesota recently unveiled a major campaign effort – including paid advertising, coalition-building, and grassroots muscle. Through its field operations, Environment Minnesota will have face-to-face conversations about clean water with more than 30,000 residents, and generate 2,000 phone calls and more than 10,000 petition signatures urging Senator Klobuchar to defend the Clean Water Rule.
The effort is also underway by Environment Minnesota’s sister organizations in Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Maine. The group’s national federation – Environment America – just released a new video featuring a dozen business owners, nurses, and local officials all in support of the clean water rule.
“Today was a great day for those of us who cherish Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and streams,” said Lea Griggs, field director of Environment Minnesota’s new effort. “But we have a long way to go to ensure that the Clean Water Rule finally takes effect to protect our waters.”