July 10, 2023

Ranking Members Larsen, Napolitano Ask EPA, Army Corps of Engineers to Help Protect Clean Water Post-Sackett Decision

Washington, D.C. — Today, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace Napolitano (D-CA) sent a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to help assess the damage done to clean water protections by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Sackett decision and chart a path forward to restoring these critical safeguards for families.

“The Sackett decision has the potential to eliminate over 50 years of progress by federal, state, and local governments, as well as average citizens, in improving water quality virtually overnight,” the Ranking Members wrote. “Considering the potential overwhelming adverse impacts of this decision to our nation, its citizens, and our environment, it is incumbent on EPA and the Corps to systematically document the individual and cumulative impacts of the Sackett decision on national efforts to protect water quality, as well as the myriad of public, private, human health and environmental benefits that are associated with clean water.”

The Ranking Members provided a detailed list of questions on the extent of the damage for the EPA and Corps to address, including quantifying increased flooding risks, threats to clean drinking water, and possible setbacks to critical regional water quality protection efforts, such as restoration of the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, Florida Everglades, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay, and Long Island Sound.

Finally, the Ranking Members previewed coming legislative action to address the protections lost after Sackett“As Congress begins the discussion on how to respond to the Court’s misreading of the Clean Water Act (CWA), we request that the agencies provide us and the general public with periodic updates on the information requested in this letter,” the Ranking Members wrote. “We also request any recommendations you might suggest on how Congress and federal agencies can ensure that this nation does not lose progress in meeting the goals of the CWA.”

The full letter can be found HERE.