Action Alert: Speak up for Clean Water!
By: Megan Hooker
This year, American Whitewater has supported a new Clean Water Rule by the EPA and Army Corps that restores protections to our nation’s headwater streams and wetlands. This week, the rule is under attack in Congress, along with the fate of millions of acres of wetlands and headwater streams. These headwater streams are directly connected to the rivers we paddle, and protecting them from pollution helps keep your paddling adventures safe and healthy.
The new Clean Water Rule restores most of the Clean Water Act protections that were in place through the 1980s and 1990s, before two Supreme Court decisions created uncertainty about which waters were protected and which weren’t.
While the rule is currently held up in the courts, a vote is expected in the Senate Tuesday, Nov 3rd in the afternoon on two proposals that threaten to completely stop these protections and put an end to the process. Contact your Senators today and speak up for clean water!
Threat #1: Senator John Barrasso (WY) has proposed S.1140 (which is misleadingly called the "Federal Water Quality Protection Act"), which would require the EPA and Army Corps to re-do their rule, costing taxpayers a lot of money for the agencies to do the work again that they’ve already finished. The proposed legislation would also erode existing Clean Water Act protections and remove considerations for the impacts of pollution on wildlife.
Threat #2: S.J. Resolution 22 is a “Resolution of Disapproval,” which allows Congress to overturn agency actions and prevents the agencies from developing anything similar in its place. If this path is successful, the uncertainty that’s plagued clean water protections for over a decade will be locked in permanently.
A vote is expected Tuesday, Nov. 3rd. Contact your Senators today and make your voices heard! Let them know why you value clean water and speak up about how you feel about the efforts to attack the Clean Water Rule.
Healthy headwater streams and wetlands are the backbone of the clean water economy. In addition to feeding your paddling adventures, they filter pollution, provide clean drinking water for millions of Americans, help abate floodwaters, and provide important habitat for fish and wildlife, from endangered species to those that are important to hunters and anglers. The Clean Water Rule was informed by the feedback from over 400 public meetings, a 200+ day public comment period with almost 900,000 comments received, and solid scientific review.
See our Clean Water Act page for more information.