By Ramona du Houx
Environment Maine announced their Clean Water for Maine summer campaign to ensure that Clean Water Act protections are finally restored to thousands of waterways in Maine and across the country. The effort will reach more than 60,000 households in the state.
“From Moosehead Lake to the Androscoggin River,Mainers depend on clean water – water that’s safe for swimming, fishing, and drinking,” said Morgan Rogers, Campaigns Director for Environment Maine.
For nearly 30 years, the Clean Water Act, authored primarily by Maine’s Senator Muskie, who was inspired to act by the severely polluted Androscoggin River he grew up along, ensured federal protections for Maine’s waters. Unfortunately, a set of misguided Supreme Court decisions in the 2000s left nearly 25,000 miles of streams in Maine without clear protection under the Act. The EPA’s proposed clean water rule would restore these protections to thousands of waterways across the country, including streams that help provide drinking water to nearly 500,000 Mainers.
Last fall, more than 5,000 Mainers – including businesses, local officials, and hunters and anglers – submitted comments in support of EPA’sproposed clean water rule.
Despite intense pressure from polluting industries, on Tuesday evening, the bill favored by polluters -HR1732- failed to attract enough votes to override a promised Presidential veto –the key margin that will determine whether the clean water rule will finally become law of the land.
With so much at stake, Environment Maine launched a new campaign to ensure that the clean water rule makes it to the finish line and withstands a new wave of attacks in Congress expected over the summer.
“In the next few months,officials in Washington will make a definitive choice on water,” concluded Rogers.“Our members of Congress will either vote to finally allow the EPA to restore protections for the places we swim, and fish, and draw our drinking water, or they can lead us backwards in time. For Mainers, the choice is crystalclear—just like our water should be.”
Environment Maine’s Clean Water for Maine summer campaign includes canvassing operations that will reach more than 60,000 doorsteps and engage 28,000 people in face-to-face conversations about the clean water rule, organizing with sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts, clean water rallies, and forums on the rule.