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E-M:/ Environment Michigan and Huron River Watershed Council Joined Dingell to Protect the Great Lakes
- Subject: E-M:/ Environment Michigan and Huron River Watershed Council Joined Dingell to Protect the Great Lakes
- From: Danielle Korpalski <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 16:20:02 -0400
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- Delivered-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- List-name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-to: Danielle Korpalski <email@example.com>
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Enviro-Mich message from Danielle Korpalski <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For Immediate Release:
June 30, 2008
Contact: Danielle Korpalski, 313-550-4900
Congressman Dingell Joins Environmentalists to Call on
Congress to Pass the Clean Water Restoration Act
[Ann Arbor, Michigan] — With families across Michigan headed to the
Great Lakes for the Fourth of July holiday, Environment Michigan and the
Huron River Watershed Council joined Congressman John Dingell near the
Huron River to urge Congress to protect the Great Lakes and pass the
Clean Water Restoration Act (H.R. 2421 and S. 1870).
The Clean Water Restoration Act would restore Clean Water Act
protections to all U.S. waterways, from streams and wetlands to the
nation’s treasured waters like the Great Lakes. Environment Michigan is
campaigning across the state this summer to pass the bill.
“The Great Lakes can only be as healthy as the streams and wetlands that
feed and clean them,” said Danielle Korpalski, Environment Michigan
Campaign Director. “Thousands of Michiganders are asking Congress to
protect the Great Lakes and pass the Clean Water Restoration Act to
safeguard all of our waters from pollution,” she added.
In 1972, Congress passed the Clean Water Act with the goals of
eliminating the discharge of pollutants into waterways and making all
U.S. waters swimmable and fishable. During the last thirty-five years,
the landmark environmental law has made significant improvements in
water quality in Michigan and around the country but the original goals
have yet to be met. Making matters worse, several recent actions have
undermined our ability to reach the goal of clean water for all Americans.
Two U.S. Supreme Court rulings, SWANCC in 2001 and Rapanos in 2006, and
the subsequent Bush administration policies to exclude waters from the
Clean Water Act have put thousands of U.S. waterways at risk of
unlimited pollution and development.
As a result of the Supreme Court decisions and administration policies,
waters covered by the Clean Water Act for decades now are threatened
with losing protection. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
estimates that almost half of the streams in Michigan are headwater or
seasonal streams, the types of streams most in danger. Nearly 300,000
Michiganders get their drinking water from public water supplies that
are fed at least in part by these streams. In addition, nearly one
million acres of Michigan’s wetlands are at risk of losing protection.
Congressman Dingell is helping to lead a bipartisan group of 198 members
of the U.S. House and Senate, including Senators Levin and Stabenow and
six other Michigan members of the House of Representatives, in
sponsoring legislation to restore federal protections to all U.S.
waters. The Clean Water Restoration Act would clarify that Clean Water
Act protections apply broadly to America’s waters, including all streams
and wetlands in the Great Lakes region.
"Because of the Clean Water Act, rivers like the Huron are cleaner.
Congress has to pass the Clean Water Restoration Act to clean up a mess
left by the Supreme Court. The Justices' interpretation of the law would
eliminate Clean Water Act protections for more than 50 percent of the
nation's wetlands and streams. The Clean Water Act has been a good thing
for Michigan and for our country. Allowing the Court's 'watering down'
of the original bill to stand would be a mistake," said Congressman
The loss of Clean Water Act protections for streams and wetlands, the
source waters for larger rivers and lakes, will have an impact on
downstream waterways. These smaller waterways supply water, filter out
pollution, slow flood water, trap sediment, and provide habitat for
fish, birds and other wildlife.
“When BP proposed to expand its toxic pollution into Lake Michigan last
summer, public outrage and Congressional action stopped this pollution
increase in its tracks,” said Korpalski. “People throughout the region
showed that they demand a higher standard of care for the Great Lakes.
And the recent flooding reminds us of the importance of wetlands and
streams to absorb and slow floodwaters. So many of the country’s
wetlands have already been destroyed, we must safeguard those that
remain. Congress should act now to protect the Great Lakes and all of
Environment Michigan delivered more than 2,000 postcards from Michigan
residents thanking Congressman Dingell for his leadership on the Clean
Water Restoration Act.
“Michiganders should know that Congressman Dingell stands for policies
that protect the Great Lakes and our other waterways,” said Korpalski.
“He was an architect of the original Clean Water Act and is helping to
lead the charge to restore protections to all of our waters. We look
forward to working with him to pass the Clean Water Restoration Act,”
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is likely to vote
on the Clean Water Restoration Act in the next month, with full House
passage anticipated later this summer.
Environment Michigan called on the other members of the Michigan
Congressional delegation to support the Clean Water Restoration Act. In
particular, Environment Michigan urged Representative Candice Miller to
support the bill when it comes up for a vote in the Transportation and
Environment Michigan is a statewide, citizen-based environmental
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