Napolitano Celebrates Clean Water Week
(WASHINGTON, DC) Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-El Monte) spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to celebrate Clean Water Week:
As the Chair of the Transportation Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, I rise to celebrate “Clean Water Week.” I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the importance of safe, affordable, and reliable water for our communities, not only in my home state of California, but across the country. Americans depend on clean water for their health, the health of their communities, and the health of the economy.
Our water resources are precious, and every drop matters, which is why we need significant federal investment in our nation’s infrastructure and strong federal protections for our nation’s water resources. We need to protect our waterways—large and small—from pollution, ensure we conserve our water resources, recycle water where we can, and protect our groundwater sources for long-term reliance.
There are tremendous clean water infrastructure needs facing our country. Our communities—large and small, urban and rural, and tribal—as well as our American families are facing great challenges in meeting these needs.
Today our nation’s network of sewers, stormwater conveyances, and treatment facilities is aging, often very outdated, and, in many places, not meeting the needs of our communities or water quality standards.
We in Congress need to do more, not only to renew the federal financial commitment to repair, replace, and upgrade our water-related infrastructure, but also to ensure that this work remains affordable to all of our communities.
Today, too many Americans are uncertain whether their drinking water is safe for themselves and for their families. Now is not the time to cut back on protections of our nation’s clean water, yet this administration is proposing to do just that.
For more than 45 years, the Clean Water Act has helped to protect our streams, rivers, wetlands, and lakes and provided our states with tools to keep our waters clean. This administration has proposed eliminating longstanding, bipartisan protections for small streams and wetlands, which play a very important role in feeding our drinking water sources. They also help store water during storms and alleviate flooding, which in turn protects communities. These small streams and wetlands help recharge groundwater supplies, filter pollution, and provide habitat for fish and wildlife.
Clean and safe water is a basic human need. Unfortunately, this administration has made it a priority to dismantle the Clean Water Act, regardless of the science or the law. The President’s Dirty Water Rule puts both the health of our nation’s waters and our American families at risk and must be stopped.
Our drought cycle in Southern California continues even though we have had repeated rains in March. We must continue to conserve. This must be the new norm for us in the West. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
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