Washington, DC – Chairman Jim Oberstar (MN – D) introduced the America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act today, a bi-partisan bill that would restore Clean Water Act protections to thousands of streams across the country and the drinking water for millions of Americans. Environment America applauded Chairman Oberstar for his continued leadership on protecting and cleaning America’s waterways.
Environment America’s Executive Director, Margie Alt released the following statement in response:
“From the Chesapeake Bay to the Great Lakes, our waters are a large part of what makes America beautiful. These lakes, rivers, bays and streams are not only vital to our ecosystem; they are also the places that we fish, swim, hike, and camp, and they provide drinking water to millions.
“Right now polluters are dumping into the streams and wetlands that feed our great waterways and our drinking water supplies. This includes the streams that feed the Great Lakes, San Francisco Bay, and Puget Sound. These are among the thousands of streams and millions of acres of wetlands at risk of unlimited pollution because of rollbacks to the Clean Water Act. The America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act will restore much needed Clean Water Act protections to these vital waterways.
“We know that Americans want clean water. We have talked to citizens across the country, and we have found that people overwhelmingly support restoring the Clean Water Act, and they are counting on Congress to pass this important legislation.
“This bill has a strong base of support from a wide range of groups and organizations as well as representatives from both political parties. Environment America has brought together local officials from Arizona, small businesses from Oregon, and farmers from Pennsylvania in support of passing legislation to restore the Clean Water Act.
“Chairman Oberstar and his staff have worked hard to put forward a new bill that will satisfy the diversity of stakeholders that are in this process. While this bill could be stronger, we know that it will significantly move us forward in cleaning up our waterways and once again protecting our lakes, rivers and streams across the country.
“We believe all of our waterways should be clean enough for us to swim in and fish from and all Americans should have safe drinking water. We cannot wait another year as polluters continue to dump into our waterways and jeopardize our health and the beauty of America. To achieve this clean water future, we need to make sure smaller streams and wetlands are once again protected by the Clean Water Act. We look forward to working with Chairman Oberstar and the rest of the House of Representatives to pass the America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act.”