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Dingell Joins EPA Administrator Regan to Recognize 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act

CLEVELAND – Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today joined U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan and Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox, along with national and local environmental leaders, in Cleveland to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act on the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The Cuyahoga, along with the Rouge River in Michigan, infamously caught fire in the 1960s, prompting environmental action and advocacy that, in part, inspired the creation of the EPA and the passage of the Clean Water Act by Congressman John Dingell—one of the original architects of the law.

Thanks to the Clean Water Act and its amendments, U.S. waters that were once polluted are now ideal for boating, fishing, swimming, and sourcing drinking water.   

“Clean and affordable water is a basic human right that I have been working for since I was elected, and that John Dingell recognized long before many others did,” said Rep. Dingell.“The 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act serves as a reminder of all the good that can get done when we work together to protect our most precious, life-sustaining resources, and an opportunity to recommit to that critical work. When John and his colleagues finalized the Clean Water Act more than five decades ago, it was widely criticized, and even vetoed by the president before becoming law. Still today we must work to strengthen the Clean Water Act for the future and defend it from those who seek to undermine it and roll back its protections. I thank EPA Administrator Regan and everyone else who has joined us in this fight for their efforts to protect clean and safe water for generations to come.”

“Clean Water Act has played a transformational role in protecting people’s health and safeguarding our natural resources for the enjoyment of future generations,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “From establishing legal policy to driving technological innovation, the Clean Water Act has led to standards, regulations, and protections for waterways across this country. And combined with other key initiatives, the Clean Water Act has helped reduce pollution and clean up rivers throughout the United States.” 

“Water shapes our lives. 50 years ago, the American people came together and passed the Clean Water Act – a monumental piece of legislation,” said Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “While we’ve made incredible progress, we need to continue to move forward, focusing the ‘North Star’ for the Clean Water Act towards ensuring every community has access to fishable, swimmable bodies of water.”

Under the Clean Water Act, EPA has worked with partners across the country to implement vital programs that have reduced pollution, made our waterways safer and cleaner, and ensured businesses that rely on clean water can thrive. Since the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, waterways around the country have been transformed into national treasures.

Looking forward, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide $50 billion dedicated to clean water infrastructure projects by investing invest through the State Revolving Funds and to protect and restore treasured national waters through our geographic programs and National Estuary Program. BIL is the single-largest investment in water infrastructure in U.S. history to replace lead pipes, tackle emerging contaminants like PFAS, build resilient drinking water and wastewater systems, and continue to protect one of earth’s most precious and essential resources. 

Congresswoman Dingell, along with her colleagues on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, introduced a Congressional Resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of the landmark law. President Biden also issued a Presidential Proclamation that reaffirms our county’s commitment to safeguarding and restoring our Nation’s waters and calls upon Americans to observe this milestone and to recognize the significant contribution the Clean Water Act has made to restore our Nation’s waters and to consider the crucial part clean water plays in each of our lives. 

Click here to watch video from the event.

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