October 24, 2023

Support for Clean Water Act of 2023 Grows

Washington, D.C. – The Clean Water Act of 2023, introduced last week by Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Rick Larsen (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) and 114 House Democrats has gained support from environmental advocates and stakeholders with the shared goal of preserving clean water protections. 
The full bill text and fact sheet can be found here and here.
Statements in support of the Clean Water Act of 2023:
League of Conservation Voters
“For over 50 years, the Clean Water Act helped clean up and protect our waters, but last spring, the U.S. Supreme Court upended these protections in their decision in Sackett v. EPA by ruling in favor of polluters' interests over the health and safety of our families and communities. 
“We greatly appreciate Representatives Rick Larsen, Grace Napolitano, Don Beyer, and Melanie Stansbury for leading the charge, and the additional 114 House Democrats who joined them to introduce the Clean Water Act of 2023. This important legislation would fix the damage done by the Sackett decision and restore federal safeguards to the waters that are critical to our health and the health of our environment. Clean water is a basic human right, and we urge Congress to swiftly pass the Clean Water Act of 2023 to protect our wetlands and streams and ensure that everyone, no matter their zip code, has access to the clean water they need to thrive,” Deputy Legislative Director Madeleine Foote said.
Natural Resources Defense Council
“All of us benefit from healthy wetlands, streams, and other water bodies—whether it’s for drinking, fishing or enjoying recreation. With climate change intensifying flooding and accelerating biodiversity loss, wetlands are critical to protect people and preserve wildlife. Keeping these waters intact and unpolluted is just basic common sense,” Jon Devine, Director of Federal Water Policy, NRDC said.
Clean Water Action
“We commend the cosponsors of the Clean Water Act of 2023 for their leadership and dedication to getting us one step closer to ensuring clean water for all. When Congress passed the Clean Water Act 51 years ago, it was with the clear goal to protect all our nation’s rivers, streams, and wetlands, not just some of them. That’s because science shows us that wetlands and streams affect the water quality of rivers, lakes, and bays downstream. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court ignored this history and science when it issued its devastating decision in Sackett v. EPA. The Clean Water Act of 2023 is needed to fix the damage created by the Court, which eliminated protections for over half of our country’s wetlands and likely millions of miles of streams, including those that are vital sources of drinking water. We call on Congress to pass this bill as swiftly as possible,” Jeff Carter, President & CEO of Clean Water Action said.
National Wildlife Federation
“Our clean drinking water is facing a pending crisis—from wetlands and streams to people’s taps —in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Sackett decision,” said Jessie Ritter, associated vice president for water resources and coastal policy at the National Wildlife Federation. “Congressman Rick Larsen’s legislation would restore crucial and commonsense protections for waterways and wetlands and help ensure that clean drinking water remains within reach for people across the country. Thank you to Representatives Larsen (D-WA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Melanie Stansbury (D-NM), and Don Beyer (D-VA) for leading this crucial effort.”
American Rivers
“We appreciate and support the Clean Water Act of 2023 as a much needed and common-sense approach to protecting rivers and streams that are so important to all Americans. People and wildlife can’t live without clean water in their rivers, yet America’s waters are at severe risk of pollution as a result of the Supreme Court case narrowing the protections of our rivers. The Clean Water Act of 2023 moves to maintain these protections and ensure everyone has access to clean rivers,” Tom Kiernan said, president and CEO, American Rivers.
Southern Environmental Law Center
“The Supreme Court’s Sackett decision lost sight of Congress’s objective in passing the Clean Water Act: maintaining the integrity of our nation’s critical water resources. This bill reaffirms Congress’s original intent and restores protections to waters that are essential to the health and safety of our communities,” Mark Sabath said, senior attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center.
American Sustainable Business Network
"While a few polluters will benefit from the recent weakening of our nation’s clean water protections, most businesses depend on clean water. Clean water protections are especially important for many local economies that depend on tourism to nearby lakes, rivers, and beaches and for certain industries like beverage manufacturing, shellfish, outdoor recreation, waterside hospitality businesses, farming, and others. Protecting wetlands is also vital to prevent economically devastating flooding in downstream and adjacent communities. The introduction of the Clean Water Act of 2023 is an important step towards ensuring science-based clean water protections to ensure thriving American businesses, economies, and communities,” Colton Fagundes said, policy director, American Sustainable Business Network.
National Parks Conservation Association
“With communities today still living with unsafe drinking water and more than two-thirds of our national park waters already impaired, this Congressional action begins to restore long-fought protections for clean water. Many national park waters originate outside their borders and depend on strong Clean Water Act protections for the health of the park, wildlife and nearby communities who swim and fish these waters. When we prioritize clean water for all, we invest in our parks, our businesses, tourism, and recreational opportunities that draw millions of people to visit or live nearby. We’re grateful for the House action and urge Congress to come together to restore water protections for our communities and our parks,” Chad Lord said, Senior Director of Environmental Policy and Climate Change, National Parks Conservation Association.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
“Wetlands filter water running off our lands, buffer our communities from rising seas, and are vital to Chesapeake Bay health. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is proud to support the Clean Water Act of 2023, which would restore clarity to wetland protections removed by the Supreme Court’s Sackett decision. We urge Congress to act on it as soon as possible,” Keisha Sedlacek said, CBF Federal Director.
Surfrider Foundation
"Healthy beaches rely on healthy waterways and wetlands. The Surfrider Foundation commends the effort to restore and clarify protections for our nation's rivers, streams and wetlands through the Clean Water Act of 2023. This important legislation will benefit wildlife, drinking water sources for millions of people, and valuable recreation opportunities both at the beach and upstream," Katie Day said, Senior Manager of Science and Policy, Surfrider Foundation.
Organizations Supporting the Clean Water Act of 2023:

  • Alliance for the Great Lakes
  • American Rivers
  • American Sustainable Business Network
  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • Clean Water Action
  • Endangered Habitats League
  • Green Latinos
  • League of Conservation Voters
  • Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • New Jersey Sustainable Business Council
  • New Mexico Wild
  • New York Sustainable Business Council
  • North Carolina Conservation League
  • River Network
  • Southern Environmental Law Center
  • Sierra Club
  • Surfrider Foundation