Come Heller or Clean Water: Dirty Water Rider Tries to Drown the Clean Water Act

River otter by Flickr's ArcheiaMuriel
River otter by Flickr's ArcheiaMuriel
There’s another nasty assault on America’s wetlands, waters and wildlife. The Dirty Water Rider, designed to handcuff the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, is creeping its way through the Senate. This misguided amendment, introduced  by Senators Dean Heller and John Barrasso, would stop the agencies from restoring Clean Water Act pollution controls for our waters. By blocking the cleanup and enforcement power of these agencies, this rider put millions of miles of wetlands, rivers, lakes and streams from the Chesapeake Bay to the Puget Sound at risk for contamination and destruction.

Americans consistently list clean water as their top environmental concern. After all, water is life. It creates jobs, provides transportation, hunting, fishing and other recreation opportunities. Wetlands provide vital wildlife habitat for animals like waterfowl and river otters, flood protection for communities and clean drinking water. However, there was a time when our waters truly burned from the nasty sludge, slime and filth dumped into them.  The Clean Water Act was created through bi-partisan efforts to save the lifeblood of our country, to protect our irreplaceable wetlands and water resources.  Now, a partisan effort is attempting to undo nearly 40 years of safeguards for our nation’s waters.

Water resources are scarce in many regions, but big polluters are only thirsty for money. Introducing legislation that could destroy our rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands is bad economics, bad politics and just a bad idea.

Take Action Tell Congress that clean water is the only choice. Send lawmakers a message that Americans care about protecting the Clean Water Act.