Take Action Today for Clean Water on which All Life Depends
The U.S. House of Representatives voted on March 9 to overturn a Biden administration rule expanding the definition of and protections for the “waters of the United States.” The rule, Revised Definition of Waters of the United States, clarifies that thousands of wetlands, smaller streams, and other kinds of waterways are included under the Clean Water Act's protection provisions set to go into effect on March 20. Now, the overturning resolution goes to the Senate and is expected to be taken up very soon; President Biden has said he will exercise his veto power if it reaches his desk. Were his veto overridden, this rollback would put at greater risk the nation's waterways, from all sorts of pollution, including more than 90% of the nation's rivers and streams that are contaminated with five or more pesticides, according to Beyond Pesticides 2020 coverage. (See this Fact Sheet on the rule.)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, through the final rule, repeals the previous Trump administration rule scaling back water protections that had been in place during Obama's presidency. Beyond Pesticides wrote in early 2020: “President Obama's WOTUS, aka Clean Water Rule, has provided protections from pesticide runoff and other pollutants to millions of acres of wetlands and thousands of miles of streams... The WOTUS rule was created to provide greater protections from pollution, and to 'bring clarity to decades of political and legal debate over which waters should qualify.' The rule included many smaller waterways and wetlands that function as recharge areas or tributaries to larger water bodies.”
At the time, Republicans and industry/trade/business groups clamored loudly against the Obama administration's more protective definition of WOTUS. Today, the same is happening with the Biden rule where the same general crew of opponents claim it constitutes regulatory overreach that is “burdensome” to private enterprise, property rights, and — essentially — what they consider their “right” to pollute.
(Please see the March 17, 2023 Daily News for more information)
>>Let your U.S. Senators know that you want clean water and that they should uphold the new water rule by voting against legislation to repeal it.