Last week Senator Feingold (D-WI) reintroduced the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA), S. 787. This bill is a reaction to law suits that potentially weaken the reach of the Clean Water Act to exclude many headwater streams. CWRA would: (1) reaffirm the original intent of Congress in enacting the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the waters of the United States; (2) clearly define the waters of the United States that are subject to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act; and (3) provide protection to the waters of the United States to the maximum extent of the legislative authority of Congress under the Constitution.
To paddlers this means several things. First and most importantly it means that the rivers you know and love will not be polluted based on the recent court cases that would allow new pollution sources in headwater streams. CWRA assures that the massive progress made in the health of our nation's rivers since the passage of the Clean Water Act will not backslide. Second, it means that your drinking water will be protected from new pollution inputs that are costly to treat.. Lastly, it may benefit the enjoyment of rivers in cases where recreation is a benefitial use protected under the clean water act.
CWRA needs to pass. The legislation will maintain the basic protection for rivers that we
all appreciate and likely take for granted. We will let you know when it is time to call
your Senators in support of this vital piece of legislation. We would like to thank Senator
Feingold for looking out for one of our most basic human needs - clean water.
Please call your Senator within the next week to voice your support for the Clean Water Restoration Act, S.787.