The Dirty Water Act Passed by US House of Representatives - More Action Needed

Late yesterday the US House of Representatives passed a measure called HR 2018 Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011. Those of us on the frontline of protecting our waterways call it “The Dirty Water Act” because it would effectively gut the current Clean Water Act. But yesterday enough of our political leaders said that’s not a problem.

Here is the full list of how each US Representative voted.

This bill’s purpose is to weaken our nation’s water quality laws by stripping power away from EPA, a regular rallying call by polluters. As Robert Kennedy Jr wrote in an op-ed on June 8, “Corporate polluters -- through massive campaign donations and relentless fear-mongering -- can easily dominate the state political landscapes. Their indentured servants in Congress -- many flying the Tea Party banner -- are working to disrupt the existing balance between state control and federal oversight in our environmental laws by returning us to the days of limited federal supervision -- a time when local government was on the side of polluters in a partnership that was stealing people's livelihoods, their recreation, their health, safety, property values and their childhoods.”

Waterkeeper Alliance members all across the country are taking action in their communities to raise awareness about this terrible bill. The Puget Soundkeeper just shared a comment from one of his members Bob Triggs, a resident of Port Townsend, WA, that really explains how important defeating this bill is: ““When I was a kid in the 1960's I would risk serious consequences by swimming in the lower Hudson River. Rashes, oozing sores, swollen eyes, deep ear infections etc. A week or more of agony after a brief swim. That was before the Clean Water... Act. I am old enough to remember the Cuyahoga River and Bronx Creek burning on fire with chemical and oil pollution. I remember the rivers and creeks being so toxic that we couldn’t breathe standing next to them, some of them ran different colors every day due to industrial waste discharges. These people who are trying to usurp the EPA and the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act etc, are not often old enough to remember what it was like before these controls were instituted. The states didn’t do a damned thing to protect our waters. Many are barely doing anything now”.

Now that the House passed the Dirty Water Act, it’s up to us to make sure our representative knows how we feel about the way they voted. Please consider contacting your US Representative and either say thank you or respectfully show your disappointment in them. The bill now goes to the Senate.  President Obama also stated yesterday that he is committed to vetoing this bill if it is placed in front of him. So the fight isn’t lost yet.

Take action today. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and connect with your representative to thank those that voted no and call out those that voted in favor of the Dirty Water Act for refusing to stand by right to clean water.

© Copyright 2010 Save Our Gulf All rights reserved.