Washington, D.C. - This week, the U.S. Senate could vote on an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill that would put the health of America’s waterways like the Everglades, the Colorado River, and the Chesapeake Bay at risk. If passed, the amendment introduced by Senators John Barrasso (WY) and Dean Heller (NV) would block the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA from restoring the Clean Water Act, leaving the drinking water of 117 million Americans vulnerable to polluters.
Environment America’s Clean Water Associate Sarah Hyman issued the following statement:
“People deserve clean water, and this attack on our local waterways will only lead to more pollution and destruction of our rivers, lakes and streams. The Barrasso-Heller Amendment not only puts waterways like the Chesapeake Bay, the Everglades, and the Puget Sound at risk, but leaves our drinking water at the mercy of polluters and developers.
“After two recent Supreme Court cases left many wetlands and tributaries unprotected by the Clean Water Act, more than 1,500 major water pollution investigations were not prosecuted because of loopholes in the Clean Water Act. Now, the Obama administration is moving to restore protections for America’s waters. But, the amendment would prohibit restoring Clean Water Act protections to waterways from coast to coast, rendering many of the rivers, streams and wetlands that feed into major waterways unprotected.
“People across the country should be able to fish, swim, and drink from their local waterways, but Senator Barrasso and Heller’s attack on clean water could leave the Great Lakes, Lake Tahoe, and The Long Island Sound unprotected,” said Hyman. “Environment America urges the Senate to defeat this dirty water amendment and stand up for the health and drinking water for millions of Americans.”