What Now For Clean Water Policies?

By Lynn Thorp, National Campaigns Coordinator

With health and environmental protections under unprecedented attack, particularly by the leadership of the 112th Congress, how do we make sure that common sense and long overdue water policy advances don’t get stopped in their tracks?

The Administration’s backtracking on an important regulation for smog pollution it is getting a lot of attention, as it should have.  You can see reactions from some of Clean Water Action’s leadership around the country here.

Now we have to make sure that we don’t get propelled backwards on clean water protections.  That means telling the story more loudly and to more people, and holding elected officials accountable for their actions.

In April 2011, the Obama Administration released Clean Water: Foundation of Healthy Communities and a Healthy Environment.” The report outlined a framework for a wide array of water programs, “… recognizing the importance of clean water for healthy people, a healthy economy, and a healthy environment…”  We intend to remind the Administration, the U.S. Congress, our members, the public and those hostile to health and environmental protections that dirty water does kill people, jobs and communities. We can’t do it all.  Join the Clean Water Movement today!

Two water battles to watch:

Fixing the Clean Water Act – It’s easy to think that when Congress passed the Act in 1972 that it meant to protect all of the waters of the United States.  It did. Unfortunately we’ve been fighting over semantics for over 8 years.  Defining “all to mean “all” has been a priority campaign for Clean Water Action.  You can read more here.

We’ve got to make sure that the Administration’s efforts to fix this problem are not blocked in Congress or by any other means.  Unsurprisingly, a week before the first step in this process began with release of common sense draft policy “Guidance,” the American Petroleum Institute told the White House that moving forward with this policy would result in “legal warfare”.  For good measure, the Farm Bureau also weighed in with dire predictions. But the Administration didn’t cave and the process moved forward. 175,000 Americans told the EPA that they supported the proposal.

The U.S. House has already voted to undermine the heart of the Clean Water Act:  A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2011 is the most far-reaching attack on the Clean Water Act ever.  We’ve called this bill a “temper tantrum in writing” because it was developed as a response to appropriate and strong EPA action on mountaintop removal coal mining and other critical water pollution issues.  This dirty water bill is dangerous and we have to make sure that it goes no further.

Posted on September 8, 2011  | Filed Under Global Warming and a New Energy Economy, Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | Comments Off

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