Congressman Charles Rangel released the following statement to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of The Clean Water Act aimed at providing protection for many streams, wetlands and other waters.
"This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act - a law which ensures the safety of our drinking water and protects our oceans and watersheds. Since its establishment in 1970, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has made great contributions in creating a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people. With the release of its recent guidelines that address today's environmental challenges while conserving America's precious landscapes, the EPA has reaffirmed our nation's long commitment to protect and manage our water resources.
In many places around the country, the receding tide of water pollution has allowed for the recovery of natural areas that support the economies and cultures of big cities and small towns. In the State of New York there are more than 11 million people using the public drinking water systems with 97% of the total population continuously relying on them. Additionally, the State has nearly 6,000 miles of water that serve these water systems with 55% that are dependent on intermittent, ephemeral and headwater streams. As these waters are restored and protected, Americans benefit from the economic value and livable character that clean waters provide.
Although we in New York City are fortunate to have some of the best drinking water in the world, we must make continuous efforts to fight mercury contamination and other forms of pollution to our water sources. Recently I co-sponsored H.R. 1375 - Clean Water Protection Act, and H.R. 2011- Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemical Acts. Both bills reinforce my dedication to fight contamination and other forms of pollution in our waters. More importantly they bolster the desire to protect our rivers, lakes, wetlands, and other waters across the country.
We must continue to preserve the integrity of our nation's water. I thank the Environmental Protection Agency, Administrator Lisa Jackson and Acting Assistant Administrator Nancy Stoner for their significant role in ensuring clean and healthy waters for generations of Americans to come. I also am proud to have these environmental advocacy groups in Manhattan: West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc., GrowNYC, The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, and New York Restoration Project. I will continue to proudly support any innovative policies, programs and initiatives to directly address the Clean Water Act challenges."
For a summary on the guidelines for the Clean Water Act, see Clean Water Act Guidelines.