Congress muddies clean water bill

A recent Minnesota Daily article, “After population decline, researchers optimistic about monarchs,” shows that we should be doing everything we can to protect our rivers, lakes and other water habitats. Unfortunately, it seems that Congress, including Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., is doing everything it can to put them in jeopardy.

Congress just voted to bar the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from restoring protections of the Clean Water Act to more than half of the nation’s rivers and streams, including nearly 47,000 miles of streams in Minnesota. The bill had been left in limbo for nearly a decade after a pair of Supreme Court decisions created a loophole in the law.

The EPA has proposed a rule to close this loophole and again safeguard under federal law the state’s rivers and streams. Instead of siding with our waters like Lake Nokomis and the Minnesotans who love to fish, boat and swim in them, Congress and Walz sided with the polluters on Tuesday.

That’s a real disappointment. But with enough champions like Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum and Rick Nolan, I hope we can see all of our waters protected once and for all.