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E-M:/ KUDOS to 7 Michigan Congressional Reps on Clean Water Act Defense!
- Subject: E-M:/ KUDOS to 7 Michigan Congressional Reps on Clean Water Act Defense!
- From: "Your Name" <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 16:45:15 -0500
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- List-Name: Enviro-Mich
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Enviro-Mich message from "Your Name" <email@example.com>
Enviro-Mich folks -- Particular thanks needs to go to John Dingell,
along with Congressional Reps Conyers, Ehlers, Levin, Kildee,
Kilpatrick, and Stupak, for their request to the Bush Administration
to protect the Clean Water Act provisions that assure small streams
and wetlands are protected. MANY THANKS to this Congressional
For immediate release Contact: Ed Hopkins 202-675-7908
November 25, 2003 Anne Woiwode 517-484-2372
Michigan Members of Congress Act to Protect Clean Water
Seven Michigan Members of Congress joined 211 of their colleagues in
asking President Bush not to change 30-year-old Clean Water Act rules
to eliminate protection for small streams and wetlands. The House
members sent the “Dear Colleague” letter to the President today.
The letter challenges the Bush administration’s initiative to limit
the scope of the Clean Water Act. In January, the Bush administration
issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that asked for comment
on whether Clean Water Act protections should apply to waters that
are “isolated,” non-navigable and contained wholly within a state. At
the same time, the administration instructed the EPA and Army Corps of
Engineers not to enforce the Clean Water Act for these waters without
first seeking permission from headquarters. The EPA said that
protections could be eliminated for up to 20 million acres of wetlands
outside Alaska. Without current protections, the wetlands and small
streams would be vulnerable to pollution from increased development,
industrial uses, mining and waste disposal.
“Our nation has made tremendous gains in cleaning up our lakes, rivers
and streams since the 1970s, but the Bush administration’s actions
threaten to reverse the progress,” said Anne Woiwode, Michigan
Director of the Sierra Club. “We are particularly grateful to
Representative John Dingell, who helped initiate this letter, for
sending the Bush administration a wake-up call: ‘don’t weaken the
Clean Water Act.’” Michigan Representatives John Conyers, Vernon
Ehlers, Dale Kildee, Carolyn Kilpatrick, Sander Levin and Bart Stupak
also signed the letter.
According to Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality, an
estimated 271,534 acres of small wetland have virtually no protection
under either state or federal law based on the Bush administration’s
guidance. In addition, the DEQ warned that, without federal
protections, waters that Michigan residents depend upon could be
harmed by lack of protections in neighboring states.
Protecting headwater streams and wetlands is essential to safeguarding
drinking water supplies, mitigating floods, making water safe for
fishing and swimming, and protecting habitat for threatened and
endangered species and migratory birds. Recognizing the potential
harm the Bush administration’s rulemaking could cause, 39 of the 42
state environmental agencies that commented on the Advance Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking were critical of reducing the scope of protected
A draft rule change, recently leaked to Los Angeles Times, suggests
the scope of the Bush administration’s changes to clean water rules.
The draft rule eliminates protections for streams that do not flow for
more than six months of the year and are not fed by groundwater;
streams created by snowmelt or rainfall; waters that generate
interstate commerce through birdwatching, hunting and fishing and
other recreation; waters used for industrial purposes; and waters that
provide habitat to endangered species.
“Changes the Bush administration is considering are inconsistent with
the original purpose of the Clean Water Act, misinterpret court
rulings, and certainly fail the most basic tests of scientific
understanding of our waters,” said Woiwode. “Continued Congressional
oversight is essential to protecting America’s waters.”
ENVIRO-MICH: Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action. Archives at
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