This afternoon, a Farm Bill (H.R. 2) loaded with anti-environmental provisions was rejected by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 198 to 213. John Rumpler, Environment America’s senior attorney and clean water program director, issued the following statement:
Today, Congress rejected a dirty Farm Bill that would have undermined protections for clean water, national forests, and our health. More specifically, the final version of this Farm Bill would have:
- Repealed the Clean Water Rule, which restored federal protections for half of our nation’s streams and millions of acres of wetlands.
- Allowed destructive mining, drilling, and roadbuilding in our national forests in Alaska, including the Tongass, which is the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world.
- Exempted pesticide pollution from the Clean Water Act, even though pesticides have contributed to more than 1,800 instances of water pollution across the country.
- Eliminated the Conservation Stewardship Program, the nation's largest conservation program by acreage.
- Pre-empted state and local laws aimed at health and environmental impacts of factory farms
- Severely undermined vital bedrock environmental laws including the Endangered Species Act.
- Eliminated public input and environmental review for a wide range of activities on public lands.
Poisoning our water and land to grow our food makes no sense. Congress should start over with a Farm Bill that promotes both healthy food and clean water. For example, a strong Farm Bill would include provisions of Rep. Huffman’s (CA) Farmers CARE Act, which would ensure that Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) dollars are used to promote sustainable farming.