Statement of Senator Jim Jeffords
Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands, and Climate Change
Hearing on the revisions to the fill rule
June 6, 2002
Good morning. I would like to thank Senator Lieberman for holding this hearing today and thank the witnesses for being here.
The reason we are here today is because we all care about clean water. The Clean Water Act is a great success story in this country’s short history of environmental legislation. It has served as a model for how states and the federal government can work together to be more responsible stewards of our precious resources.
During the last 30 years, significant progress has been made in attaining the goals set in the Clean Water Act - the primary goal of zero discharge and the interim goal of fishable and swimmable water conditions.
The issue we are considering today is the impact that changes in the rule defining “fill material” and the “discharge of fill material” will have on achieving the goals of the Clean Water Act.
Concerns have been raised that the new definition will take us a step backward from achieving the goals, while others believe the revised definitions will eliminate confusion caused by EPA and the Corps having different definitions of “fill material”.
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses about why the changes are being made and their opinions on what the impacts of the new rule will be on our nation’s waters and the quality of the water.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.