President vetoes Congress’ attack on clean water

Important waterways like this Alabama cypress swamp are better protected thanks to a recent veto by President Obama. (© Beth Young)

SELC applauds President Obama's veto yesterday of Congressional attempts to block the Clean Water Rule.

Earlier this year, Congress pushed through a Congressional Review Act "Resolution of Disapproval" of the rule, despite the guarantee of a presidential veto and broad public support for the rule. While the rule was being developed, more than 800,000 comments supporting the Clean Water Rule were submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The veto of this egregious attack will help protect the clean water of Americans across the country, including the 1 in 3 who get their drinking water from sources that will have clarified safeguards in place as a result of this rule. Nearly 20 million people in SELC’s six-state region receive some of their drinking water from areas containing these smaller streams, and upholding this rule is important to ensure clean water for our communities.

Now that the veto is signed, Congress should be focusing on strengthening protections for our important water resources, instead of trying to weaken protections for the streams and wetlands that help provide flood buffers, important fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, and sources of drinking water.

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