James Oberstar to Hold CWRA Hearing Thursday

Building upon momentum inspired by the New York Times story about the appalling state of our nation’s waters, the US Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is going to hold a hearing on October 15 entitled: The Clean Water Act after 37 Years, Recommitting to the Protection of the Nation’s Waters. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has asked Cynthia Giles to speak at the hearing.

On Friday, T&I Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn) lamented the quality of this nation’s drinking waters after nearly a decade of what he called “neglect” of clean water laws by the Bush Administration. Oberstar is the lead sponsor on the Clean Water Restoration Act – legislation that would replace the words navigable waters with waters of the United States. This would free up federal agencies to enforce the original CWA regulations.

It is expected that Giles, EPA’s Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance,will discuss the uncertainty the agency feels over jurisdiction in enforcing the Clean Water Act – the result of court decisions during the Bush Administration – and she should be emphasizing the need for restoring CWA protections to the pre-2001 levels with new legislation.

There are 15 Democrats from Great Lakes States and 11 Republicans on the T&I Committee. HOW expects all our Great Lakes Representatives to be at the hearing, engaged and hopefully supportive of the CWRA. The following Great Lakes Congressmen are on the committee, if you have time, let your lawmaker know you support CWRA.

Jerry F. Costello (D-Ill.), Jerrald Nadler (D-NY), Tim Holden (D-PA), Tim Bishop (D-NY), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Jason Altmire (D-PA), Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Mike Arcuri (D-NY), Chris Carney (D-PA), John Hall (D-NY), Steve Kagan (D-Wisc.), Phil Hare (D-Ill.), John Boccieri (D-OH), Mark Schauer (D-Mich.), Mike McMahon (D-NY), Thomas Petri (R-Wisc.), Vern Ehlers (R-Mich.), Tim Johnson (R-Ill.), Todd Russell Platts (R-PA), Bill Shuster (R-PA), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Charles Dent (R-PA), Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Candice Miller (R-Mich.), Robert Latta (R-OH), Aaron Schock (R-Ill.).

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One Response to James Oberstar to Hold CWRA Hearing Thursday

  1. Don mitchel says:

    Dear Sirs, Reportedly, Rep Oberstar has agreed to address h.r.3619 with an amendment to address ballast dumping. The legislation purposed should be as strong, as legislation already passed, by the largest elected voice of the American people. (House of Representatives) As the politics involved with the last bill’s failure in the Senate, state rights, gas terminal protection, etc. have to still be addressed, and noticing the collage of new bills related to h.r.3619 it will be harder to pass. Ballast dumping is a problem that will affect all Americans equally, not just by state, as pathogens, virus and anything else mixed with water do not understand state laws. Urge Rep Oberstar to keep up his work by presenting a bill, for the Coast Guards mission, which is as strong, as what the elected members of the House have previously agreed upon. A bill with without goals and standards as strong as H.R.2830 would only be pandering compromise to those who wish to weaken the mission congress would be assigning to the Coast Guard. This would only be a ploy to foster less expense for shipping and procure a myriad of state laws and regulations impossible to enforce. It only takes one Senator from a state where oil transportation and consumer goods make up a large part of their economy to stop the passage of strong uniform protection for all Americans. As work on ballast legislation has not produced anything adequate for decades and change to legislation can often be impossible to achieve once new legislation is put in place, we need to do this right the first time, and not allow the continued destruction of our countries environment while leaving the American peoples health at risk. Strong legislation with strong goals will in the long run not only protect America, but will set precedent for the entire world and help protect mankind for many generations to come. To use a quote reportedly made by Rep Oberstar after h.r.2830’s demise, anything else would be “bullshit”.
    Don Mitchel