Washington, DC — Today the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee is expected to vote on a bill that attacks protections and funding for clean air, water and public lands, and puts Americans’ health at risk. Additional amendments are expected to be offered which will further threaten environmental and public health safeguards.
Shelley Vinyard, Toxics Advocate for Environment America, issued the following response:
“This bill is a direct assault on the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the places we love. Not only does it block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from setting critical clean air, clean water, and public health safeguards, but it also puts some of America’s most treasured places like the Grand Canyon at risk of destruction.
“We are extremely disappointed in the Representatives who are siding with polluters by supporting this bill, and we urge the Committee to instead side with the public by opposing this dangerous attack on America’s environment and public health.”
While additional harmful amendments will likely be added to the bill today, the underlying bill alone would do the following:
- Put the drinking water of 117 million Americans at risk by blocking EPA from restoring critical protections under the Clean Water Act to more than half of America’s streams and some 20 million acres of wetlands (Sec. 435).
- Threaten the health of millions of Americans by jeopardizing many of EPA’s critical air and water pollution safeguards, interfering with EPA’s ability to clean up dangerous and toxic pollution (Sec. 444).
- Block protections for more than 1 million acres of land around the Grand Canyon, leaving them open to toxic uranium mining (Sec. 445).
- Threaten the health of America’s children, elderly citizens and other vulnerable populations by blocking EPA’s ability to limit dangerous carbon pollution from power plants and farming operations (Sec. 428, 429 and 431).
- Slash EPA’s budget by 18 percent from FY2011, limiting the agency’s ability to keep our air, waterways and communities clean and healthy.
- Slash the Land & Water Conservation Fund by 79 percent from FY2011, nearly eliminating efforts to ensure that our national parks and other treasured places across the country are protected for families to enjoy for generations to come.