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EPA Seen as the Enemy of Powerful Polluters

February 16, 2011

Gutting the EPA’s ability to enforce one of the most successful water protection programs in the history of this country in the name of fiscal responsibility requires a peek beneath the sheets. And what we’re likely to find is an age old story: Lobbyists representing powerful polluters in the same bed as lawmakers in the House of Representatives who know a political opportunity when they see one.

– National Wildlife Federation’s Jeff Skelding

DC Bureau reports today: The GOP’s CR – the money bill that will keep the government running through September 30 – includes language on page 276, Section 1747, lines 12-18 that would deny funding to the Environmental Protection Agency to implement guidelines needed to enforce the Clean Water Act.

“None of the funds made available by this division or any other Act may be used by the EPA to implement, administer, or enforce a change to a rule or guidance document pertaining to the definition of waters under the jurisdiction of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.”

This language was inserted in response to the expected release of guidelines on enforcement of the Clean Water Act by the Office of Management and Budget. The OMB rulemaking is an attempt to restore protections that eroded during the Bush Administration. It is a strategy of last resort by clean water advocates after failing to strengthen the law during the previous, Democratically-controlled Congress.

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