U.S. Senate Commemorates the
35th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act
Senators Lautenberg, Vitter, Boxer and Inhofe Sponsor Resolution
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Senator David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Transportation Safety, Infrastructure Security and Water Quality, joined with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) to sponsor a resolution commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. The resolution was adopted today by the Senate by unanimous consent.
Senator Lautenberg said: "For 35 years, Americans have relied on the Clean Water Act to keep our lakes, rivers, streams and coastal waters safe for us to fish and swim. It is the law that preserves our wetlands and protects our drinking water. I'm pleased to join my colleagues in commemorating this landmark of environmental and public health protection."
Senator Vitter said: "The Clean Water Act is responsible for many important impacts since it became law more than 35 years ago. The Act has leveraged billions of dollars for state and local governments to improve water quality and address water infrastructure needs. The entire Lake Pontchartrain Basin ecosystem will continue to benefit from the assistance provided under the Act."
Senator Boxer said: "The Clean Water Act has been one of our most successful environmental statutes to date. Since 1972, we have made tremendous progress, and today, our rivers, lakes and streams are far cleaner than they were three decades ago. But there is still more work to be done. Forty percent of the nation's tested waters currently fail to meet quality standards. As we honor the successes of the CWA today, it is important that we also recommit to protecting the quality of our nation's water."
Senator Inhofe said: "Today as we mark the 35th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, I am proud to join with my Senate colleagues in recognition of the tremendous progress our nation has made in cleaning up and improving our nation's water resources. Thanks to the CWA and the commitment by the American people, our nation's waterways are far cleaner and our drinking water dramatically improved. As we look to build upon this success, I am mindful of the challenges ahead. Oklahomans face a projected $586 million in clean water related needs over the next 20 years. I remain committed to working to ensure these needs are met and that we do so in a way that makes sense both for our environment and our economy."
The Clean Water Act, a bipartisan measure which was enacted on October 18, 1972, is the primary federal law addressing water pollution, aiming to keep waterways safe and clean. The CWA places restrictions on pollution levels and creates water quality standards for the nation's lakes, rivers, streams and other waters. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has jurisdiction over water pollution and resource issues.