Press Statement
September 21, 2012

CBF Criticizes House and Senate Action
on Anti-Clean Water Bill

(WASHINGTON, DC)—Early Friday afternoon, the House passed the "Stop the War on Coal" bill, which had been amended to include language stripping much of the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to protect Americans' clean water. That language, which among other things amends the careful federal-state balance, established 40 years ago in the federal Clean Water Act, would have the effect of stopping current Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts in their tracks. On Thursday, the same legislative language was introduced in the U.S. Senate as S. 3558 by Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV.)

Doug Siglin, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's director of federal affairs issued this statement concerning the legislation.

"The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is very disappointed that both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have moved forward with a legislative initiative that would have devastating consequences for the Chesapeake Bay, as well as efforts to restore clean water across the nation.

"The anti-clean water initiative appears to be related to election-season efforts to convince Americans that the EPA is "over-reaching" in protecting the rights of Americans to clean air and water. Nothing could be further from the truth. Moreover, the practical implications of such legislation would set back current Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts years, if not decades. This legislation is particularly misguided because a science-based Chesapeake clean water blueprint is finally in place and moving forward with the broad support of watershed residents.

"We have fallen a long way from the days that the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Clean Water Act, and President Reagan declared the Chesapeake Bay "a national treasure worth preserving for its own sake."

"CBF hopes that the most anti-environmental Congress in history will adjourn without any additional action on this appalling language, and we pledge to do all we can to make sure that it does not pass this or similar language in the next or future Congresses."

 

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