Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

U.S. House Votes to Dirty Your Water

Just to prove it is not just the renegades over at the Appropriations Committee trying to undermine conservation and environmental policy, the U.S. House of Representatives voted last week to gut the Clean Water Act by passing  H.R. 2018, The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act.

Conservation, Sportsmen’s and Outdoor Industry Organizations Oppose H.R. 2018

Before the vote, The American Fly Fishing Trade Association, Trout Unlimited, The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, The Izaak Walton League of America and The National Wildlife Federation sent a letter strongly objecting to this legislation.

The bill would adversely affect waterways nationwide, and would lessen protective standards provided by the Clean Water Act for 38 years. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held no legislative hearings on the bill, and rushed to pass it through committee. The bill deserves far more scrutiny.

Yup, you read that correctly. This legislation didn’t get a hearing, in fact the bill was introduced at the end of May and apparently the need to gut the Clean Water is such a high priority for the Republican leadership in the House it got to the floor in short order.

Puts nation’s waters, fish and wildlife at risk.

H.R. 2018 proposes sweeping changes to the Clean Water Act that would undercut the progress the Act has made in restoring our waters over the last four decades. The bill purports to strengthen “cooperative federalism” by giving the states more control over EPA’s Clean Water Act oversight. In fact, the bill undermines the federal‐state partnership on which the Clean Water Act is based.

We would welcome committee consideration of an appropriate increased role for the states. However, as written this bill clearly is intended to weaken implementation of the Clean Water Act.

Of course water tends to travel across state lines so while one state might hold the water in the state in high regard, their up stream neighbor might not be so conscientious. That was one of the reasons for having the Clean Water Act in the first place.

Habitat equals opportunity that creates economic activity

Clean water is key to 40 million anglers who spend about $45 billion a year  and about 2.3 million hunters spending $1.3 billion each year hunting ducks and other migratory birds. The U.S. House continues to ignore the simple economics of outdoor recreation in favor of poorly conceived “solutions” to unfounded “problems”.

Who voted for this?

Wondering how your Representative voted? You can check the final vote results for Roll Call 573 here.

Why not write your Representative  and let them know what you think of their vote.

Fortunately if the Senate is silly enough to pass this legislation the Administration has put the word out that the veto pen will be uncapped.

Stay tuned…


  1. Great post. Why can’t we get out of the 2.5 wars we are involved in first before we go after our own quality of life?

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