For Immediate Release
Bipartisan Bill Restores Clean Water Act Protections to Critical Waters
Legislation Fixes Polluter Loophole Created by U.S. Supreme Court
WASHINGTON - Seeking to close legal loopholes that have
left significant portions of the nation's waterways vulnerable to
pollution, Reps. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), and
John Dingell (D-Mich.) introduced America's Commitment to Clean Water
U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 have left
roughly 20 percent of the more than 100 million acres of wetlands and
countless miles of small and intermittently-flowing streams in the
continental United States unprotected by the Clean Water Act and its
programs that guard against oil spills or other industrial pollution,
according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. The legislation
would restore Clean Water Act protections to all waters.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has
approved similar legislation; NRDC will work with leaders in both
chambers to ensure that the bills move ahead.
The following is a statement from Jon Devine, senior
attorney in the Water Program at NRDC:
"The bill introduced today will effectively restore the law's
clear protections to our nation's fragile water bodies.
"Congress did not intend to leave significant amounts of our
waterways vulnerable. It must act immediately to close the loopholes
created by the Supreme Court to ensure clean and adequate water for the
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.