The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Dirty Water Appropriations Rider

“Allowing more pollution into drinking water sources is senseless. Exempting such a move from the law is simply beyond the pale,” John Rumpler, Environment America


Today, the House appropriations committee considered the energy and water appropriations bill that would allow the Trump administration to ignore several federal laws as it moves to undercut protections for clean water. The bill also contains other anti-environmental provisions and would drastically cut federal funding for clean energy. John Rumpler, Environment America's senior attorney and clean water program director, issued the following statement:

"Americans deserve clean drinking water and a path to a clean energy future, yet this bill will take us backward. The EPA is already moving forward with a proposal to repeal the Clean Water Rule, which restored federal protections to half of our nation's streams and thousands of wetlands. These waters help provide drinking water to 1 in 3 Americans.

The Trump administration's proposal to allow more pollution into America's drinking water sources is senseless. For Congress to exempt such a move from the law is simply beyond the pale. Yet Section 108 of the FY 2018 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill do just that - allowing the administration to ignore the Administrative Procedures Act and every other federal statute in its effort to repeal the Clean Water Rule. If approved, this provision would allow EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to brazenly ignore requirements to respond to public comments, create an administrative record supported by science and facts, or face scrutiny in the courts.

The appropriations bill also includes other riders weakening protections for our rivers, lakes, and oceans. In addition, it slashes $1 billion from energy efficiency programs and squanders $120 million on an old, failed plan to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.

Clean water and clean energy are vital to our ecology, our health, and our future. Yet instead of securing that future, today's appropriations bill puts polluters in the driver's seat while shutting out the rest of us. Congress should reject this dirty package and any other attempts to subvert environmental protections through the budget process."

With Environment America, you protect the places that all of us love and promote core environmental values, such as clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean energy to power our lives. We're a national network of 29 state environmental groups with members and supporters in every state. Together, we focus on timely, targeted action that wins tangible improvements in the quality of our environment and our lives.

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