To Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation,
As elected officials across Pennsylvania, we write to urge you to stand strong in your support for the Clean Water Rule enacted by U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers that will restore Clean Water Act protection to thousands of waterways here in Pennsylvania and across the country.
As elected officials, we know how critically important clean water is to the health and economic livelihood of people in our local communities and across our state. Our constituents need clean water for drinking, fishing, swimming, agriculture, recreation, and the wellbeing of their communities. Waterways like the Delaware River, Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers, and the Susquehanna River are part of what makes Pennsylvania beautiful, thriving, and prosperous.
But our waters’ health is threatened. Beginning in 1972, the Clean Water Act protected all of the nation’s waters, from small, unnamed streams that crisscross Pennsylvania to the Commonwealth’s great majestic rivers. But for the past 15 years, many of our waterways were not guaranteed protection from pollution, including the streams that feed our lakes and rivers, and wetlands that help keep them clean, because of two short-sighted Supreme Court decisions (SWANCC in 2001 and Rapanos in 2006).
The Clean Water Rule, which set out to close these loopholes, also faces legal challenges from polluters. Once it overcomes these unsound challenges, the Rule will restore protection to the 59 percent of our streams here in Pennsylvania that had previously lacked clear protection. According to EPA data, these waters help provide drinking water to over eight million Pennsylvanians.
To protect our treasured rivers and streams, we urge you to stand strong in your support of the rule, which restores critical protections to these waters under the Clean Water Act. By restoring Clean Water Act protections we can put all of Pennsylvania’s waters back on track to becoming safe for swimming, fishing, and drinking. We cannot afford to let clean water become a bargaining chip at any point in the rancorous budget debate this fall.
We appreciate your commitment to protecting Pennsylvania’s waterways, and we hope you will continue to ensure they are protected for years to come.
Carolyn Comitta, West Chester
Robert J. Donchez, Bethlehem
William Peduto, Pittsburgh
Matthew Bradford, 70th District
Donna Bullock, 195th District
Mark B. Cohen, 202nd District
Scott Conklin, 77th District
Madeleine Dean, 153rd District
Dan Frankel, 23rd District
Stephen Kinsey, 201st District
Robert “Rob” Matzie, 16th District
Stephen McCarter, 154th District
Mark Rozzi, 198th District
Steve Santarsiero, 31st District
Brian Sims, 182nd District
Greg Vitali, 166th District
Jake Wheatley, 19th District
Rosita Youngblood, 198th District
Tim Briggs, 149th District
John Blake, 22nd District
Jay Costa, 43rd District
Andrew Dinniman, 19th District
Shirley Kitchen, 3rd District
Daylin Leach, 17th District
Chuck McIlhinney, 10th District
John Sabatina, Jr., 5th District
Bill Greenlee, Philadelphia, At-large
Blondell Reynolds Brown, Philadelphia, At-large
Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, Philadelphia, 7th District
Mark Squilla, Philadelphia, 1st District
Natalia Rudiak, Pittsburgh, 4th District
Dan Gilman, Pittsburgh, 8th District
Bruce Kraus, Pittsburgh, 3rd District
Ricky Burgess, Pittsburgh, 9th District