A Word From GRTU and Trout Unlimited on New Legislation

| June 24, 2011

GRTU members – I ask that each of you review and contact your legislators to express your opinion on this threat to water quality standards. It appears that congress is trying to run this legislation through quickly without expert testimony, so please respond as soon as possible.

I will post TU’s official response letter to our web forum under the Trout section for your review.

If you are unsure who your US Representative is, go to https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml, enter your zip code and state, and you will be directed to your representatives info.

Thanks for all you do,

Mark Dillow
Chapter President
Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited
www.grtu.org

Hello everyone –

First, we want to apologize for the last minute action request, we understand that you all have other things occupying your time, so please do what you can. We just received word yesterday that this legislation would be brought before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee tomorrow. The bill, The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011 has the potential to cause serious water quality issues by allowing states to veto EPA’s water quality standards. This is a massive change in the way the Clean Water Act is implemented, and the committee is set to vote on the bill without hearing any expert testimony on its impacts

Furthermore, the ability for states to veto EPA’s standards means we could end up with widely varying quality standards for neighboring states, which is why the Clean Water Act was implemented at the federal level in the first place. Finally, the bill would remove the ability to use a section of the Clean Water Act that allows EPA to stop certain dredge and fill permits where there is the potential for significant harm to fish, wildlife, or habitat. Though rarely used, this authority has enabled the EPA to save great trout fisheries like the South Platte River from ill-advised development projects.

Because of the grave threat that this bill poses to trout and salmon habitat, we would really appreciate if you could spare a few minutes this afternoon or first thing tomorrow morning to either e-mail or call your representatives. We’ve attached a list of members on the committee by state, where you can find an e-mail address for the appropriate staff member and a phone number if you care to call. I’ve also attached the letter TU sent today that has a little more background, as well as a sample e-mail that contains good talking points. If you call, the message is simple: “The Clean Water Act is fundamental to maintaining healthy trout and salmon populations, and Congress shouldn’t vote on such sweeping changes without first hearing from experts and members of the public.”

These messages are always most effective coming from constituents, so if you know of anyone in these Congressional districts that would be willing to weigh in, feel free to forward this information. We know this is last minute, but anything you can do will help! As always, Steve Moyer, Keith Curley, and I are available to answer any questions.

Since this is a big distribution, I want to note that we wanted to engage NLC Reps, Council Chairs, Staff, and other TU Members we’ve brought into fly-ins that we think have good relationships or experience with contacting Congress. We’re just trying to cover all our bases and get the most contacts into the offices we can!

Tight lines,

Zach Cockrum
Manager of Government Affairs
Trout Unlimited
(w)703-284-9426
(c)703-850-9680

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Category: Causes, Science and Environmental

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