It really is challenging to think that in 2023 we would have to say this: but clean water is significant. Science is significant. And that the well being and integrity of our communities and ecosystems are significant. Final week’s Supreme Court selection undermining the Clean Water Act comes as Property Republicans have waged an ongoing crusade against the landmark environmental law, voting twice this spring to reduce clean water protections although also fighting to destroy other basic laws on environmental protection in the debt ceiling. negotiations.
The Clean Water Act revolutionized access to clean water about the globe when it was passed just more than half a century ago.
For generations, raw sewage, chemical compounds, hazardous waste and other pollution have flowed into our country’s rivers, streams and wetlands. Numerous Americans have died from preventable ailments, cancers, and ailments transmitted by way of dirty water – and which could have been absolutely avoided. Rivers caught fire from chemical spills, fish kills filled communities with the stench of death, and sewage overflowed into rivers exactly where people today fished and our youngsters swam.
For decades, our communities have organized to make certain that every single American has access to clean water. In reality, when the Clean Water Act was signed into law in 1972, it was passed by Congress with a bipartisan supermajority. Republican senators even crossed celebration lines to override President Nixon’s veto when he rejected this bipartisan bill. Due to the fact of their actions and the tireless perform of our communities, the United States became 1 of the very first nations in the globe to generate a national framework to shield and clean up our waters. It is fair to say that billions of people today have enjoyed clean water more than the previous 50 years mainly because of this basic law.
Final week’s selection fundamentally misrepresents and undermines the protections of the Clean Water Act and the science and hydrology of our nation’s waters. We can not shield our drinking water or our rivers with out also defending our wetlands — mainly because they are hydrologically connected systems.
As the Congresswoman of New Mexico’s 1st District and an professional on water sources, I know that the Supreme Court’s selection will have far-reaching consequences for our state and the communities I represent. With this selection, about 93 % of our streams and waterways in New Mexico will shed protection from pollutants. Numerous communities living close to compact rivers and waterways across the United States will see them polluted with out consequence. That is incorrect. And it goes against every thing our communities have fought for for generations.
Under no circumstances in American history have we noticed a Supreme Court majority so at odds with the American people today and our fundamental rights: the suitable to clean water, the suitable to make choices about our personal bodies, tribal sovereignty, and the suitable to vote.
Sackett v. EPA joins choices such as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Well being Organization, West Virginia v. EPA, Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta and Shelby County v. Holder that changed generations of settled law. From abandoning 50 years of precedent limiting Americans’ suitable to make choices about their personal bodies, to overturning additional than 150 years of trust and treaty laws that respect tribal sovereignty, to now repealing our fundamental suitable to clean water – 1 has to wonder what this court’s target genuinely is .
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I can not think that in 2023 we will see our nation regress on clean water. This not only restores time to our communities, but also our position as a international leader in environmental protection. For decades, the United States has proudly led the charge for clean water about the planet.
This Supreme Court selection in Sackett v. EPA is a further symptom of the extremists who have hijacked our institutions. This captive court after once more puts income, corporations, and the interests of polluters above the people today of this terrific nation and our planet.
Melanie Stansberry represents New Mexico’s 1st District in Congress. She is the ranking member of the Property Organic Sources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and winner of the 2021 American Water Prize.
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