“With communities today still living with unsafe drinking water and more than two-thirds of our national park waters already impaired, this Congressional action begins to restore long-fought protections for clean water." NPCA's Chad Lord
WASHINGTON – On the 51st anniversary of the Clean Water Act, today the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation to undo the damage from the Sackett v. EPA Supreme Court decision. The court decision set an overly narrow test for determining when wetlands are “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act, which removed protections for the majority of wetlands in the United States. The U.S. House bill, Clean Water Act 2023, seeks to reinstate protections for waters and wetlands gutted by the Supreme Court decision.
Statement by Chad Lord, Senior Director of Environmental Policy and Climate Change for the National Parks Conservation Association
“With communities today still living with unsafe drinking water and more than two-thirds of our national park waters already impaired, this Congressional action begins to restore long-fought protections for clean water. Many national park waters originate outside their borders and depend on strong Clean Water Act protections for the health of the park, wildlife and nearby communities who swim and fish these waters.
“Water is the lifeblood of our parks. Everglades National Park has lost more than 80% of federal protections for the wetlands around it. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which protects the river that inspired clean water action 50 years ago, has lost protections for hundreds of miles of smaller streams and thousands of acres of wetlands that flow into the famous river. It has taken decades to restore the Cuyahoga River to safely swim and fish its waters, and for wildlife to thrive here. This progress could be lost if we don’t restore protections for the one thing we cannot live without.”
“When we prioritize clean water for all, we invest in our parks, our businesses, tourism, and recreational opportunities that draw millions of people to visit or live nearby. From the 10 national parks within the Great Lakes watershed to America’s Everglades, cleaner water works in tandem with the billions of dollars already invested for restoration in and around our parks and supports billions more in economic activity. We’re grateful for the House action today and urge Congress to come together to restore water protections for our communities and our parks.”
About the National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.6 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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