Media Teleconference: Congress still playing politics with clean water

Sept. 8, 2014


Chris Hunt, (208) 406-9106,


Sportsmens groups oppose House bill to undermine Americas clean water

WASHINGTON, D.C.Sporting groups representing the full spectrum of anglers and hunters from all across America will host a media teleconference Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 10 a.m. ET, to discuss a bill in the House of Representatives that would prevent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency from clarifying and restoring protections for Americas small headwater streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.

The call will feature the following speakers:

Benjamin Bulis, president of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association

Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

Collin OMara, president and CEO, National Wildlife Federation

To participate in the call:

Dial in at 10 a.m. ET: (866) 740-1260

Passcode: 4069106#

Youll be asked to state your name, and then youll be placed into the call.

When the Clean Water Act was passed by Congress in 1972, small streams and wetlands were protected from harm. Two politically charged Supreme Court decisions in the 2000s removed clear protections from those streams and wetlands. At the urging of the Supreme Court and a diverse group of stakeholders, the new rule put forth by EPA and the Corps makes the scientific connection between Americas headwater streams and the larger waters they feed. With this connection now documented as required by the court, the new rule would reinstate the protections for those small waters and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.

Because of the importance of this rule, Americas sportsmen and women are strongly opposed to HR 5078, The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014, which will receive floor consideration this week. The bill would derail the positive efforts of these agencies clarify the jurisdictional coverage of the Clean Water Act, and make it difficult for the agencies to attempt any substantially similar efforts in the future.

These waters contribute greatly to Americas sporting heritagethey provide vital spawning and rearing habitat for trout and salmon, needed water for game, and wetlands for ducks and other waterfowl. Additionally, they are the sources of clean water that is used downstream by communities and industry. Moreover, our nations vibrant and growing recreation economy largely depends of clean water. Fishing, hunting, boating and swimming all require clean and plentiful water supplies.

Reinstating these protectionsespecially after a summer of headlines that include dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay, as well as fouled drinking water in Toledo, Ohioshould be a priority for Congress. Clean water should not be something used to make political inroads.

The bill could be on the House floor as soon as Tuesday, Sept. 9. The representatives on the call will discuss the importance of clean water for sporting opportunity, the economy and the health of our nations drinking water.