Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Me.) joined 74 members of Congress yesterday and three former Members in submitting an amicus brief in the case of Conservation Law Foundation et al v. US Environmental Protection Agency et al.
In the amicus brief, the lawmakers assert that the Trump administration’s so-called Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) – also known as the Dirty Water Rule – ignores science, fails to provide Congress with basic information about the impacts of this Rule and undermines the ability of states to protect their own water quality.
“In 1972, Congress enacted the Clean Water Act, a landmark statute with the core objective of cleaning up the nation’s waters. The NWPR turns this statutory scheme on its head,” the lawmakers wrote. “..the NWPR is arbitrary, capricious and grounded in misunderstandings of governing statutory law.”
Finalized in April 2020, the Dirty Water Rule is a draconian roll back of clear water protections over the nation’s rivers, streams and wetlands, jeopardizing the safe drinking water of over a hundred million American households. The Dirty Water Rule reinterprets decades old Clean Water Act protections endorsed by Republican and Democratic administrations alike – virtually assuring the destruction of rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands throughout the nation. Internal EPA documents estimate that the Dirty Water Rule would eliminate federal clean water protections on as many as 60% of stream miles in the lower 48 states that do not flow year-round in almost 2 million stream miles – and an estimated 110 million acres of wetlands the press release from Congresswoman Chellie Pingree’s office ended.
One of Maine’s favorite sons is the late Senator Ed Muskie (D). He chaired the Air and Water Pollution Subcommittee and authored the Clean Water Act of 1972. In 1966, he led the creation of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway as the first state’s wild river under the federal Wild Scenic River Act. His list of accomplishments is long. But his legacy as a pioneering protector of the environment ought to be dusted off and celebrated from time to time.
For more background on the late Senator Ed. Muskie (D-Me), please visit post herein dated November 15, 2020.