Washington, D.C. – On July 28, thousands of public comments were delivered to the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters calling for strong clean water protections. These comments, collected across the country, reflect widespread public endorsement of the Administration’s efforts to restore Clean Water Act protections to critical waterways and drinking water sources. Among those who commented were over 1,300 health professionals, 60 county officials, and over 250 sportsmen groups.
This show of public support comes as Congress debates legislation that would block EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from moving forward on clarifying which water bodies are protected under the Clean Water Act.
“From the Chesapeake Bay to the Great Lakes, the Colorado River to the Puget Sound, Americans want clean water,” said Piper Crowell from Environment America. “In fact, people across the country are simply appalled to learn that the Clean Water Act might no longer protect their favorite local stream.”
“Hunters and anglers across the country clearly support restoring Clean Water Act protections for streams, wetlands, and other waters,” said Scott Kovarovics, conservation director for the Izaak Walton League of America. “EPA can safeguard waters important to sportsmen by quickly finalizing the guidance.”
“The American public expects the Clean Water Act to protect all water bodies, just as Congress intended when the Act passed almost 40 years ago,” said Clean Water Action’s Lynn Thorp. “Current confusion leaves drinking water sources for over 117 million Americans at risk, and people know that’s unnecessary and unacceptable.”
“We know the American people want, expect, and deserve clean water for their families and communities,” said Joan Mulhern, senior legislative counsel at Earthjustice. “For nearly a decade the Clean Water Act has been broken and not only left our waters dirty, but it has threatened the millions of Americans who depend on these waters for drinking. This Obama administration guidance is an important step forward to fix a Bush-era guidance that sacrificed our waters for the sake of special interests.”
Hundreds of organizations have encouraged EPA to move forward with restoring Clean Water Act protections to America’s streams and wetlands. National organizations include American Rivers, Clean Water Action, Clean Water Network, Earthjustice, Environment America, Izaak Walton League, League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club.