LWVUS joined a letter with organizations from across the country urging Congress to reject amendments to the FY 2016 budget that would undermine the EPA's Clean Water Rule.


November 19, 2015

Dear Member of Congress:

Our organizations, along with our millions of members and supporters, urge you to oppose all ideological and anti-environmental riders proposed for inclusion in appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2016, including language that would undermine the Environmental Protection Agency’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ final Clean Water Rule.

The Clean Water Rule restores critical pollution safeguards to a variety of our nation’s waterways, including the small streams and wetlands that feed the drinking water of one in three Americans, and provides clarity and certainty to the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. For decades, the Clean Water Act provided comprehensive protections for water bodies across the country, from the smallest headwater streams to the giant Mississippi River.

However, two Supreme Court decisions threw protections for some of our waterways into question. The Clean Water Rule helps protect the waters our children and grandchildren use to drink, swim, and play in.

To develop the Clean Water Rule, the agencies engaged in a very transparent and thorough process, including holding more than 400 stakeholder meetings, providing more than 200 days for public comment, and conducting a detailed and open analysis and peer review of the science on which the rule is based. Over 800,000 people commented in support of the rule, and poll after poll has found small businesses, hunters and anglers, and a bipartisan majority of voters in favor of the Clean Water Rule and more protections for our water.

Yet, big polluters continue to pursue every angle to block these critical safeguards for our water. Having been unable to kill the rule through the normal legislative process, they are turning to the appropriations process to push their anti-clean water agenda in a last ditch effort to undermine this scientifically-sound, widely-supported rule. This is simply inappropriate. Congress should not use the appropriations process to roll back fundamental health and environmental safeguards. Big polluters are trying to force Congress to choose between clean water and keeping the government open- a ridiculous, dangerous, and false choice.

We urge you to stand up for clean water by opposing amendments and riders that undermine the Clean Water Rule, and further urge you to oppose all ideological riders in the appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2016.

Thank you for your consideration,

National Organizations:

American Rivers 
American Sustainable Business Council
American Whitewater 
BlueGreen Alliance
Clean Water Action
Earthjustice
Earthworks
Environment America
Food and Water Watch
GreenLatinos
Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society
League of Conservation Voters
League of Women Voters of the United States
National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association (NLFRTA)
Natural Resources Defense Council
National Parks Conservation Association
River Network
Rural Coalition
Sierra Club
Southern Environmental Law Center
Surfrider Foundation
Voces Verdes

Regional, State, and Local Organizations:

350 Loudoun
Alabama Rivers Alliance
Alliance for the Great Lakes
Already Devalued and Devastated Homeowners of Parsippany Association (NJ)
Americas for Conservation & The Arts
American Littoral Society (NJ)
Amigos Bravos (NM)
Anacostia Riverkeeper (DC/MD)
Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions
Arkansas Public Policy Panel
Atlantic States Legal Foundation, Inc. (NY)
Audubon Naturalist Society (VA)
Azul (CA)
Bastrop County Environmental Network (TX)
Berks Gas Truth (PA)
Berkshire Environmental Action Team (MA)
California Coastal Protection Network
California League of Conservation Voters
California River Watch
California Wilderness Coalition
Center for Rural Affairs (NE)
Charles River Watershed Association (MA)
Charlestown Waterfront Coalition (MA)
Choose Clean Water Coalition
Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CT/NY)
Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge (CA)
Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park (VA)
Clean Air Council (PA)
Clean Water Action California
Clean Water Action Colorado
Clean Water Action Connecticut
Clean Water Action Florida
Clean Water Action Maryland
Clean Water Action Massachusetts
Clean Water Action Michigan
Clean Water Action Minnesota
Clean Water Action New Jersey
Clean Water Action Pennsylvania
Clean Water Action Rhode Island
Clean Water Action Texas
Clean Water Action Virginia
Clean Water for North Carolina
Community Water Center (CA)
Connecticut Citizen Action Group
Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice
Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound
Connecticut River Watershed Council
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Conservation Colorado
Conservation Law Foundation
Conservation Minnesota
Conservation Pennsylvania
CURE (Clean Up the River Environment) (MN)
Delaware Nature Society
Delaware Riverkeeper Network
Ecology Center (MI)
Endangered Habitats League (CA)
Everglades Foundation
Everglades Trust (FL)
Environment California
Environment Colorado
Environment Florida
Environment Georgia
Environment Illinois
Environment Iowa
Environment Maine
Environment Massachusetts
Environment Michigan
Environment Minnesota
Environment Montana
Environment New Hampshire
Environment New Jersey
Environment New York
Environment North Carolina
Environment Oregon
Environment Texas
Environment Virginia
Environment Washington
Environmental Justice Center at Chestnut Hill United Church (PA)
Environmental Justice Coalition for Water (CA)
Environmental League of Massachusetts
Florida Wildlife Federation
Foothill Conservancy (CA)
For Love of Water (FLOW) (MI)
Freshwater Future (MI)
Friends For Our Riverfront (TN)
Friends of Accotink Creek (VA)
Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest (MN)
Friends of Dyke Marsh (VA)
Friends of the Everglades (FL)
Friends of the Fox River (IL)
Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands
Friends of Middle River (VA)
Friends of the Mississippi River
Friends of Penobscot Bay (ME)
Friends of the Weskeag (ME)
The Guardians of the Brandywine (PA)
Georges River Land Trust (ME)
Georgia River Network
GMO-Free PA
Great Lakes Environmental Law Center (MI)
Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities (MI)
Gulf Restoration Network
Headwaters Chapter, Izaak Walton League of America (OH)
Hop Brook Protection Association (MA)
Housatonic Valley Association (MA)
Illinois Council of Trout Unlimited
Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
Iowa Environmental Council
Ipswich River Watershed Association (MA
Jones River Watershed Association (MA)
Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
Kentucky Waterways Alliance
Keystone Trails Association (PA)
Kirkwood Lake Environmental Committee (NJ)
La Madre Tierra (CA)
Labadie Environmental Organization (MO)
Lake Champlain Committee (VT)
Land Stewardship Project (MN)
Lehigh Gap Nature Center (PA)
Lower Penns Creek Watershed Association (PA)
Maryland Conservation Council
Maryland League of Conservation Voters
Massachusetts Organization of State Engineers and Scientists
Massachusetts Rivers Alliance
Michigan Environmental Council
Michigan United
Midwest Environmental Advocates
Milwaukee Riverkeeper (WI)
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Minnesota Conservation Federation
Minnesota Environmental Partnership
Mountain Watershed Association (PA)
Montana Audubon
Montana Conservation Voters
Montgomery Countryside Alliance (MD)
MN350
Nebraska Wildlife Federation
Neponset River Watershed Association (MA)
NJ Citizen Action
New Jersey Conservation Foundation
NJ Highlands Coalition
New Jersey Tenants Organization
NY/NJ Baykeeper
Northwest Environmental Advocates
OARS: For the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers (MA)
Ocean River Institute (MA)
Ohio River Foundation
Ohio Wetlands Association
Ohlone Audubon Society (CA)
Olympic Forest Coalition (WA)
Orca Network (WA)
PennEnvironment
PennFuture
Pennsylvania Council of Churches
Pennsylvania Farmers Union
Port Tobacco Conservancy (MD)
Potomac RiverKeeper Network (MD)
Prairie Rivers Network (IL)
Progress Florida
Progress Michigan
Progressive Congress (DC)
Protecting Our Waters (PA)
Raritan Headwaters Association (NJ)
Reef Relief (FL)
Religious Coalition for the Great Lakes
Rivers Alliance of Connecticut
Saint Mary's Watershed Association (MD)
Save Barnegat Bay (NJ)
Save Our Sky Blue Waters (MN)
Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition
Seventh Generation Advisors (CA)
Severn River Association (MD)
Shenandoah Riverkeeper (VA)
Sierra Club, Michigan Chapter
Sierra Club, NJ Chapter
South Fork Trinity Up-River Friends (CA)
Sound Action (WA)South Jersey Land & Water Trust (NJ)
Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna (PA)
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (NJ)
Suncoast Waterkeeper (FL)
Surfrider Foundation, Jersey Shore Chapter
Tennessee Clean Water Network
Texas Drought Project
Tobyhanna Creek/Tunkhannock Creek Watershed Association (PA)
Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Inc. (PA)
Upstate Forever (SC)
Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper (NY)
Vermont Natural Resources Council
Virginia Conservation Network
Water Supply Citizens Advisory Committee (MA)
Waterkeepers Chesapeake
Watershed Action Alliance of Southeastern Massachusetts
West Virginia Highlands Conservancy   
Western Nebraska Resources Council
Westport Rivers Watershed Alliance (MA)
Wholly H2O (CA)
Wisconsin Environment
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation
Youghiogheny Riverkeeper (PA)