On Tuesday July 15, I had the privilege of attending my first hearing on Capitol Hill. I got there early to take it all in, and was the first one in the audience by a good fifteen minutes. Clean Water Action assigned me to listen and report on the hearing, held by the House Sub-Committee on Water Resources and Environment, a Subcommittee of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
The hearing was about Section 404c of the Clean Water Act, which authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “restrict, prohibit, deny, or withdraw the use of an area as a disposal site for dredged or fill material if the discharge will have unacceptable adverse effects on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas, wildlife, or recreational areas.” This means that EPA can even revoke a Clean Water Act discharge permit that has already been issued if it is determined that it will have unacceptable impact. Read the rest of this entry »