Senators Warren, Markey Join Local Officials Across MA to Support Protecting the Clean Water Act Against Congressional Attack
Boston, MA – Following a rare joint Congressional hearing held on February 4th, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey joined the growing voices of voters and elected officials across Massachusetts in demanding continued protection of the Clean Water Act from any attempts by Congress to rollback portions of the law.
Senator Elizabeth Warren staunchly defended protecting the Clean Water Act against a new round of attacks by polluters and their allies on Capitol Hill, stating “We must not let GOP obstructionists block this rule. Protecting our clean water should be a bipartisan issue.”
Two days before Congress’s joint hearing, 29 local elected officials from across the state signed onto an Environment Massachusetts community coalition letter, calling on members of the MA congressional delegation to support restoring protections to 52% of Massachusetts streams, including those that feed into major waterways east to west across the state from the Charles River to the Housatonic.
“Clean water is vital for Massachusetts communities,” said Mayor Gary Christenson of Malden, Massachusetts, “the Clean Water Act must be restored and protected. Our local economies, public health, and critical waterways have all benefited from these commonsense protections. It is time for Congress to let the Clean Water Act do it’s job.”
Due to loopholes in the law from polluter-driven lawsuits, more than 4,000 miles of Massachusetts streams no longer have clear protection from pollution under the Clean Water Act. In March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to close these loopholes and restore protections to waterways that feed drinking water supplies for 4.9 million Massachusetts residents and around 117 million Americans across the country.
Unfortunately, fossil fuel corporations, big developers, agribusinesses and other polluters have waged a bitter campaign against the rule. Their allies in Congress have taken up their cause, and the February 4th joint hearing between key committees of the U.S. Senate and House was widely seen as an attempt to provide disproportionate voice to the clean water rule’s opponents over the wide base of popular support.
This recent coalition letter-writing campaign conducted by Environment America, signed by over 250 local officials nationwide, is the latest showing of public support for these clean water protections. Earlier last year, 800,000 Americans submitted comments in support of protecting a fully restored Clean Water Act.
“Today, our cities and towns are counting on leaders in Congress to stand up for the Clean Water Act,” said a spokesman with Environment Massachusetts. “Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey have taken a strong stand as champions for public health, the lakes and streams our families love to enjoy during the summertime, and our local economies, like the fishing, outdoor recreation, and brewing industries, that rely on water everyday. Now is a critical time for all of our progressive champions, including our members in the House of Representatives, to publicly support the Clean Water Act and the waterways across Massachusetts that benefit our families, our health, and our economy.”
The Clean Water Act has been vital to the recovery of many Massachusetts waterways over past decades; restorations of the Charles River and Boston Harbor have been nationally regarded as prime success stories coming out of the act’s implementation starting in 1972.
“This is our drinking water – our leaders in Washington should be doing everything they can to protect it.” said local Newton legislator Emily Norton. “That’s why it’s critical that the Administration be allowed to restore the full Clean Water Act; Congress should not allow any more harmful loopholes to damage one of America’s strongest laws for protecting the public health of our families.”
Interested in taking action? You can tell your member of Congress to protect the Clean Water Act from Congressional attack by contacting them here: https://environmentmassachusetts.webaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=9703
Environment Massachusetts brings citizens together to advocate for clean water, the places we love, and the environmental values we share. www.EnvironmentMassachusetts.org