Statement by Nancy Stoner, director of NRDC's Clean Water Project

WASHINGTON (February 22, 2005) -- Congress has joined the fight against sewage dumping. Today, 135 members of the House of Representatives sent a bi-partisan letter to the Environmental Protecting Agency urging the agency to scrap its proposal to allow sewer operators to dump inadequately treated sewage into America's waterways. (The letter can be found here.)

The following is a statement by NRDC's Nancy Stoner:

"Americans should be alarmed that the Bush administration wants to allow millions of gallons of barely treated sewage to be dumped into the nation's lakes, rivers and streams.

"Directly dumping sewage into waters we use for drinking, fishing and swimming would violate the Clean Water Act and EPA's own rules requiring full treatment.

"The policy not only defies common sense, it's literally sickening. Sewage causes a range of illnesses, from diarrhea, vomiting and respiratory infections to hepatitis and dysentery, and more Americans would get sick because of this indefensible policy change.

"We applaud House members from both political parties for their strong opposition to EPA's reckless sewage dumping policy. Although bipartisan action is rare these days, it's understandable in this case. If there's one thing everybody should be able to agree on, it's that the less sewage in our water, the better.

"Unfortunately, the EPA is trying to get around Congress by adopting a disastrous and dangerous policy that undercuts the Clean Water Act. That's because EPA knows full well that if the issue ever came before Congress and the American people, few would favor more sewage in our waterways."

For more information about EPA's sewage dumping proposal, click here.