Ranking Member Grijalva Praises New Clean Water Rule

This press release was distributed May 27.

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement today after news that the Obama Administration has finalized the Clean Water Rule, ending years of regulatory uncertainty and establishing clear protections for streams and wetlands that supply drinking water for millions of Americans.

“I congratulate the Obama Administration for bringing long-overdue clarity to the vital issue of clean water. One in three Americans gets their drinking water from streams currently lacking clear protection. This Rule will help prevent the destruction of our nation’s water resources and support the numerous industries and jobs that depend on clean water.

“For decades, Republicans have clung to the false narrative that responsible environmental protections would cause our economy to collapse. Their talking points have been so wrong, for so long, that they’ve lost all credibility on the issue. These attacks are reflexive, irresponsible, and as hollow today as they were when first claimed decades ago.

“We know that environmental protection and economic growth are extremely compatible – a fact demonstrated by the economic growth our country has sustained over the last four decades since the passage of many of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act.

“The Supreme Court left the scope of the Clean Water Act unclear, but protecting clean drinking water is far too important to be open to interpretation. It’s time to implement a clear Clean Water Rule that protects our drinking water supplies and ends the regulatory uncertainty that allows unscrupulous polluters to hide in the regulatory shadows. Everyone, including farmers and homebuilders, deserves clarity on this issue. The new Rule does exactly that, without creating any new permitting requirements and maintaining all existing exemptions.”