Waterkeeper Alliance, along with 121 Waterkeeper Organizations and Affiliates, submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) late yesterday in vehement opposition to the withdrawal, modification or revocation of any EPA regulation that results from its Regulatory Reform Task Force evaluation under Executive Order 13777.
The full comments are available here.
Waterkeeper Alliance and its 169 Waterkeeper Organizations and Affiliates in the United States work with many federal environmental statutes that protect waterways and the people who depend on clean water for drinking, recreation, fishing, economic growth, food production, and all of the other water uses that sustain our way of life, health and well-being. The federal Clean Water Act is the bedrock of our work and Waterkeeper Alliance will fight every attempt to weaken this vital environmental protection.
“In the 45 years since its passage, the Clean Water Act has significantly reduced the pollution that plagues our waterways and communities; nevertheless, there remain major water quality problems across the country,” said Marc Yaggi, Executive Director of Waterkeeper Alliance. “Rather than strengthening our clean water laws, the current administration’s ‘regulatory reform’ efforts threaten to take us back to the days when our rivers were so polluted they caught fire. The administration should seek to ensure cleaner, safer, water for our children and future generations. Instead, it is looking for giveaways to corporate polluters at the expense of public health and environment.”
Waterkeepers have been on the front lines of environmental advocacy and waterway protection for over 50 years and can attest firsthand how important EPA regulations are to achieving all of the health, economic and other societal benefits that accompany clean air, lands and water. Through the use of EPA regulations, Waterkeepers across the country have revitalized waterways like the Hudson River; allowed communities to reclaim waterfronts, open waterways to recreation and restore fisheries in places like Puget Sound, and have stopped significant sources of pollution across the country, including toxic coal ash in North Carolina.
“It is EPA’s job to protect our health and our air, land and water from pollution. Period,” said Kelly Hunter Foster, Waterkeeper Alliance Senior Attorney. “It is not EPA’s job to eliminate environmental regulations for the sole purpose of reducing industry’s ‘burden.’ No one should be allowed to endanger or harm children, contaminate a community’s water supply or destroy a fishery to create more jobs, avoid paperwork or increase corporate profits.”