House Bill Unravels 40 Years of Clean Water Act Protection

Legislation Strips EPA’s Ability to Protect Water Nationwide

WASHINGTON – (June 22, 2011) The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a fundamental attack on Clean Water Act protection today, opening a new front in the war against the environment, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“This bill is a recipe for increased pollution, dirtier waters and more mountaintop removal mining,” said Jon Devine, senior attorney in the water program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Its supporters seem intent on taking us back to the ‘good old days’ when rivers like the Cuyahoga caught fire and Lake Erie was declared dead. We will continue to fight it vigorously if it comes to the House floor.”

Without a hearing or subcommittee mark-up, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the bill, H.R. 2018, which reverses the basic premises of the Clean Water Act– that what one state does affects the waters in other states, and that state policies alone had failed miserably to provide waters that are safe for drinking, swimming and fishing.  

This bill would prevent EPA from requiring states to develop effective clean water protection rules. Under the measure, EPA would be powerless to act even if it found a state-issued Clean Water Act permit to be inadequate.

Read more about the problems with this legislation here: