WASHINGTON (January 13, 2016) — House Republicans today passed legislation attacking clean water protections. Today’s action—a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act –-blocks the Clean Water Rule, the Obama administration’s landmark action adopted last year. Because the Senate previously passed the same legislation, the measure will next go to President Obama, who has threatened to veto it.
The following is a statement by Jon Devine, a senior attorney in the Water program at the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“Congressional Republicans are wasting taxpayer money undermining safeguards for the drinking water sources of more than 100 million Americans, and working to defeat the protections that ensure clean water for our recreation and wildlife. Fortunately, this effort to put polluters before people will not survive a presidential veto."
The Clean Water Rule, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, restores protection under the Clean Water Act to streams, wetlands and other bodies of water that help prevent flooding, filter pollution, and help supply one in three Americans with clean drinking water.
Today’s legislative action would gut this commonsense rule and prevent EPA and the Army Corps from taking future actions to clarify what the law protects.