Wednesday, July 20, 2011

LETTER: Clean Water Act under attack

LETTER: Clean Water Act under attack

Dear Editor: The Clean Water Act is under attack right now. On July 13, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011. To be clear, it should be called the Dirty Water Bill of 2011. This bill seeks to undermine protections our streams, rivers, and lakes have been afforded over the last forty years. Why? Because powerful interests who make money by polluting have been lobbying Congress. Polluters don’t like the Environmental Protection Agency utilizing its federal oversight role and asking state agencies such as the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to do a more thorough job. Polluting interests in Alabama believe EPA is meddling in “state affairs” and it just so happens that ADEM agrees with them. Unfortunately, it seems the majority of our congressmen agree too.
This bill strips EPA’s oversight capabilities and allows ADEM to be an even weaker enforcer of the Clean Water Act than it already is. Our sources of clean water for drinking, bathing, cooking, recreation, swimming, and fishing are at risk. The Dirty Water Bill now heads to the U.S. Senate. If you care about clean water and healthy future generations, now is the time to contact your Senators.

Nelson Brooke, Riverkeeper
Black Warrior Riverkeeper

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