WASHINGTON (May 28, 2014)—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today attacked a new clean water rule with unsubstantiated charges about excessive costs that hold no water.
Jon Devine, a senior attorney with the Water Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, made the following statement:
“Clean water supports a strong economy. Anglers spend roughly $40 billion a year on fishing, tourist dollars support the nation’s beaches, and companies use an estimated 12 billion gallons of water to produce beverages valued at $58 billion a year. The EPA/Army Corps Clean Water Protection Rule will produce approximately $388 million-$514 million in benefits every year, compared with $162 million -$278 million in annual costs. One has to ask: Whose bottom line is the Chamber of Commerce protecting, and at what cost to America?”
The proposed EPA/Corps rule, which covers intermittent streams and wetlands, protects the waters that are the sources of drinking water for 117 million Americans and are used by anglers, boaters and other recreational users. The legal status of these waters under the Clean Water Act was called into question by two court rulings in 2001 and 2006, which EPA has clarified with its new proposed rule. Although the common-sense protections only expand the amount of waters covered by three percent, opponents have made wildly exaggerated charges about their impact.
Earlier in the day, the Chamber attacked administration plans under the Clean Air Act to limit dangerous carbon pollution from power plants. Added Devine, “Today shows the Chamber never met pollution it didn’t like.”
For more information about the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule, see Jon’s blog: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jdevine/phony_objections_to_clean_wate.html