Press ReleaseJul 12, 2011
Markey: Clean Water Must Not Return to Polluted PastIssues: Fisheries
GOP Rejects Markey Amendment to Protect Rivers, Wetlands, Other Vital Waterways
WASHINGTON (July 13, 2011) - In their continuing efforts to eviscerate environmental laws, House Republicans today voted to overturn almost forty years of progress on cleaning our nation's rivers, streams, lakes and other waterways under the Clean Water Act. Among the votes today was a rejection (183-237) of an amendment sponsored by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) that would have protected rivers, wetlands, marshes or other waters that provide protection from floods, valuable fish and wildlife habitat that provide benefits to the economy, and coastal recreational waters.
"In Boston, the song ‘Dirty Water' is played in Fenway Park after every Red Sox win. It memorializes the time when the Charles River and Boston Harbor were as murky as the Red Sox's World Series chances," said Rep. Markey. "We may still like the song, but we like our cleaner rivers and harbors more following the success of our environmental laws. House Republicans now want to turn this golden oldie into a modern hit on the Clean Water Act. America's clean water must not be allowed to return to its polluted past."
The amendment would have ensured that any waters that EPA determines provides flood protection for communities, or are valuable fish and wildlife would continue to be protected. The Army Corps of Engineers estimates that protecting wetlands along the Charles River in Boston saves as much as $17 million annually in averted flood damage, and economists estimate that each acre of wetland provides more than $10,000 per person in public benefits each year.