[PHILADELPHIA, PA] - Businesses and local officials from Pennsylvania and across the country joined PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center in urging a federal court to uphold U.S. EPA’s Clean Water Rule. From outfitters to brewers to charter boat companies, many of these businesses depend on clean water for their livelihoods.
“Pennsylvanians cherish clean water first and foremost as vital for our health, our ecology, and our quality of life,” said Stephanie Wein, Water and Conservation Advocate for PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center. “Businesses and communities need clean water to thrive and survive.”
The Clean Water Rule restored protections for and thousands of waters across the country – including almost 50,000 miles of Pennsylvania’s streams, which feed rivers like the Delaware, the Susquehanna and Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers, and help provide drinking water to 8 million of Pennsylvanians.
Unfortunately, polluters and their allies have set their sights on derailing the rule -- in Congress and in the courts. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals is now hearing legal challenges to the rule, and 313 businesses and local officials, including 29 from Pennsylvania, have joined amicus briefs defending the rule.
“As County Controller, I am elected to be a steward of taxpayer dollars. Right now, the Pittsburgh region is facing huge challenges in providing the proper infrastructure to keep harmful substances out of our drinking water and to prevent storm runoff from constantly inundating our streets and rivers,” said Chelsa Wagner, Allegheny County Controller. “Every consumer that pays a water bill will feel the impact, including many who can ill afford to pay more. When we keep toxins and runoff from ever entering our treatment systems through reasonable protections and regulations, we all benefit. As an elected official, I believe there is no more essential public duty than providing clean, safe water. And as a mother, there is no other public policy issue that concerns me more."
“Clean water is imperative for our brewery and restaurant to function,” said Mike Rose, general manager of Manayunk Brewing Company. “If the wetlands and small streams that filter pollutants from the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers are not protected, our business could face huge problems."
While the court considers the case, polluters and their allies are also restarting their efforts to have Congress dismantle the Clean Water Rule. Previous efforts have failed, as Senator Casey has joined others in standing up for Pennsylvania’s waters.
The PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting air, water and open spaces. The organization investigates problems, crafts solutions, educates the public and decision-makers, and helps the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates. For more information, please visit www.PennEnvironment.org/Center