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Water Quality:
Arizona’s water protection

Our Position: oppose
Bill Number: HCR2030
Sponsor: Stevens, Gowan: Antenori, et al
Legislative Session: 2009 Legislative Session

HCR2030 NOW: Arizona’s water protection is a really bad message the Legislature wants to send to Congress.  This is not about protecting water and in fact is contrary to protecting Arizona’s rivers, streams, and washes. It sends a message to Congress opposing the Clean Water Restoration Act, a measure that would help ensure that the original intent of the Clean Water Act is clear and that Arizona’s rivers and streams continue to have protection under the act.  Without it, there is a great deal of fuzziness on whether or not streams that do not run year-round have the kinds of protections they need.


To read a copy of the bill or to see a more detailed status, click on HCR2030.

Action Needed

To email your House Members or find their direct phone numbers, click on Arizona House.  If you are not sure who your legislators are, please go to http://www.vote-smart.org or call the House information desk.  If you're outside the Phoenix area, you can call your legislators’ offices toll free at 1-800-352-8404.  In the Phoenix area call (602) 926-4221 (House) and ask them to connect you with your legislators.


Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org



Oppose HCR20230 in Arizona Legislature

HCR2030 encourages members of Congress to oppose the “expansion of the federal Point Source Discharge Program” as current legislation proposes and “oppose any legislation that would result in the expansion of federal jurisdiction and emasculation of the states’ jurisdiction.”  The legislation they mention is called the Clean Water Restoration Act and it hardly “emasculates” state jurisdiction, but it does ensure that waters have the minimal protections afforded by the Clean Water Act, rather than weak, if any, protections at the state level.  The measure specifically mentions that the Clean Water Act should not apply to emphemral and intermittent waters; that means most of Arizona's waters. 


The Clean Water Restoration Act restores the traditional scope of protection intended by Congress.  Americans need these safeguards to achieve the goal of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.


This measure is merely a “postcard” to Congress, but it again sends a bad message. 


Since Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972, we have made great progress in cleaning up our nation’s waters, but that progress is in jeopardy.  The law historically has protected the nation’s lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands from unregulated pollution and destruction.  Today, however, many water bodies are being denied the Act’s protections against pollution.  Polluters argue that Supreme Court decisions from 2001 and 2006 mean that the law’s safeguards are only available for “navigable” water bodies (or for waters that are significantly linked to such water bodies).  The Clean Water Restoration Act is needed to restore the longstanding protections originally intended by Congress.


In Arizona, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 56 percent of the streams have no other streams flowing into them, and that 94 percent do not flow year-round.  Under varying interpretations of the most recent Supreme Court decision, these smaller water bodies are among those for which the extent of Clean Water Act protections has been questioned. 


We need Congress to support the Clean Water Restoration Act, not oppose it as HCR2030 encourages.  Support clean water, oppose HCR2030.

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