Last Tuesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a four page legal analysis a House bill they caution, “would overturn almost 40 years of federal legislation by preventing the EPA from protecting public health and water.” Many have referred to this bill as the worst dirty water bill yet, because it will gut the Clean Water Act (CWA), which is foundation for safeguarding our drinking water, rivers, wetlands, lakes and streams.
The measure H.R. 2018, sponsored by House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R. Fla.) and member Nick Rahall (D – W.Va.), would give states final say on rules concerning water, wetlands and mountaintop-removal mining. This bill would put the EPA in a suffocating chokehold, by removing the EPA’s power to ensure that upstream states don’t lower standards in a way that passes pollution to their downstream neighbors. The bill would also prevent EPA from revising water quality limits or permits in response to the best science available to improve water quality standards as we learn more about the impacts of pollution.
EPA in their analysis warned, “This would fundamentally disrupt the balance established by the original [Clean Water Act] in 1972 – a law that carefully constructed complementary roles for EPA, the Corps, and states.”
The GOP House leaders expect to bring the bill to a floor vote this summer. Write your representative today to voice your opposition to the attack on the Clean Water Act!