To the editor:
Congressman Jim Moran (D-8) deserves a round of applause from his constituents, and from all Americans, for his efforts to protect our nations valuable water resources. Alas, the misguided House leadership sunk his proposal.
The Army Corps of Engineers has been working to clarify which of the nations streams and wetlands are protected under the Clean Water Act, a question that several Supreme Court decisions and agencies had muddied over the past decade. The confusion has left vulnerable millions of acres of wetlands that provide flood protection and wildlife habitat, and an untold number of streams that are the headwaters for drinking water supplies for some 117 million people.
The Houses Appropriations Committee, in discussing the Corps funding for fiscal year 2012, was considering a provision directing the Corps not to revise its Clean Water Act guidance thus leaving our nations waters at risk.
Mr. Moran offered an amendment that would have reversed this directive and allowed the Corps to move forward with drafting guidance and take public comments on this critical issue.
Instead, the committee voted in favor of maintaining confusion among the regulated industry and the public, continuing the loss of wetlands and the impairment of vital streams.
We thank Congressman Moran for standing up for clean water, flood protection and fish and wildlife habitats, and support his future efforts in this regard.