WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), the top Democrat on the Fisheries, Wildlife and Water Subcommittee, today criticized Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt and the Trump Administration for repealing the Clean Water Rule, a move that threatens the safety of America’s drinking water sources by repealing the Clean Water Rule and continuing to undermine critical public health protections.
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“Abruptly rolling back the Clean Water Rule poses a serious threat to the health of millions of Americans,” said Duckworth. “Without its protections, children and families throughout Illinois and across the country – especially those in low-income or rural areas – are at great risk of being exposed to contaminated water. That’s absolutely unacceptable.”
The roll back comes on the heels of the Administration’s proposal to eliminate all funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and reports that EPA is considering consolidating EPA regional offices to avoid rent. Duckworth signed a bipartisan letter to Pruitt in March urging him to instead fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which has been key to stopping the invasion of harmful species such as Asian carp. These fish pose a serious threat to the food supply and habitat of native fish in bodies of water throughout the Midwest, including the Great Lakes.
Senator Duckworth has also been outspoken about the need to address failures in our public water systems and has introduced several pieces of legislation on lead in America’s drinking water. Just last week, Duckworth reintroduced the Get the Lead Out of Schools Act of 2017 with U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) to help ensure drinking water in schools across our nation is clean and safe from lead. Last year, Duckworth introduced theCopper and Lead Evaluation, Assessment and Reporting (CLEAR) Act of 2016 to address the nationwide contaminated drinking water crisis. These bills would improve water testing to keep potential contaminants like lead and copper out of public water supplies and provide resources to help communities remove contaminants that may already be present.