Clean water wins as Congress rejects budget rider

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Environment America

WASHINGTON, DC – As Congressional leaders agreed on an omnibus budget deal without riders to block EPA’s landmark Clean Water Rule, Environment America’s senior attorney John Rumpler issued the following statement:

“Due to overwhelming public support, the Clean Water Rule has now withstood every attack that polluters could muster in Congress — the ‘Barrasso bill,’ the Congressional Review Act measure, and now an attempted budget rider. Polluters and their allies have played all their dirty water cards in Congress and lost.”  

The Clean Water Rule restores protections of the Clean Water Act for streams that help provide drinking water to 117 million Americans, along with millions of acres of wetlands. The rule is vital to the health of waterways from the Great Lakes to the Chesapeake Bay to Puget Sound. No wonder more than 800,000 Americans — including mayors, business owners, farmers, and doctors — have expressed support for this historic clean water policy.

Our special thanks to all who stood in adamant defense of clean water throughout these budget negotiations — from champions like Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Boxer to Democratic leadership to President Obama. Thanks to their strong stands, polluters gained no new ground on clean water in the omnibus.

Americans love our rivers, lakes, bays and streams. They’re where we swim, fish, canoe, kayak or just enjoy the scenery. They supply us with clean drinking water. Yet our waterways still face serious challenges from factory farms to sewage overflows.

So as this last polluter bid falls flat, we call on Congress to stop pointless attacks on clean water and start acting to protect it.