Policy Pulse: You Made a Difference! Senate Rejects One Bill To Repeal Clean Water Rule

Boy Fishing_credit Megan Nagel USFWSLeague members and supporters nationwide swung into action in November as the U.S. Senate moved to consider two bills to repeal the clean water rule. In less than 48 hours, hundreds of you contacted your Senators and urged them to vote against these damaging bills. Your voices made a difference as Senators voted not to consider one measure (S 1140) and key Senators voted against a second bill (SJ Res 22), which the Senate narrowly approved. The League focused special attention on Senators from Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to ensure they heard from constituents who value clean water and healthy streams and wetlands. Senators Franken and Klobuchar from Minnesota, Kaine and Warner from Virginia, and Casey from Pennsylvania voted with hunters, anglers, and conservationists in opposition to both bills. Please call or e-mail their offices to thank them for their support.

SJ Res 22 is especially damaging because it not only repeals the clean water rule, it also prohibits the Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from issuing any new rule that is in “substantially the same form” as the existing rule. This bill locks in confusion and uncertainty and paralyzes efforts to protect critically important streams, wetlands, and other waters in the future.

The U.S. House of Representatives could consider SJ Res 22 at any time. Importantly, the Obama Administration has already threatened to veto this bill stating, “Simply put, SJ Res 22 is not an act of good governance. It would sow confusion and invite conflict at a time when our communities and businesses need clarity and certainty around clean water regulation.”