Dingell, Environmental Groups Celebrate Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary on Huron River
Ann Arbor, MI, October 21, 2022
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) was today joined by the Huron River Watershed Council, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, Wolfpack Clean Water Group, and State Rep. Yousef Rabhi to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act on the banks of the Huron River in Ann Arbor.
The Rouge River in Southeast Michigan was one of the rivers that infamously caught fire more than five decades ago, inspiring Congressman John Dingell—one of its original architects—to help craft and pass the Clean Water Act. Thanks to the Clean Water Act and its amendments, the Rouge River has been transformed and waters like the Huron River that were once too polluted are now popular spots for boating, fishing, swimming, and sourcing drinking water. But the work must continue to defend and strengthen this landmark law for future generations to address emerging contaminants, like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and incorporate new scientific developments related to existing chemicals.
“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. 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,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “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 the Huron River Watershed Council, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, Wolfpack Clean Water Group, Rep. Rabhi, and all those who are working to protect our waters for generations to come.”
"For 50 years the Clean Water Act has been our nation’s most critical tool for safeguarding our streams, wetlands, and other waterways," said Rebecca Esselman, Executive Director, Huron River Watershed Council. "Unfortunately, the Clean Water Act is under attack with a Supreme Court case, Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, which will decide what waters can and cannot be protected under the law. Congress passed the Clean Water Act 50 years ago to protect people, not polluters – we must step up now to protect it."
“Thanks to landmark laws like the Clean Water Act, our Great Lakes, rivers and inland lakes are far cleaner now than 50 years ago,” said Mike Shriberg, Regional Executive Director of National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center. “From the Rouge River in southwest Detroit catching on fire to Lake Erie having been considered “dead,” the Clean Water Act has transformed the lives of all Americans and wildlife, as well as our wetlands and our waterways. We must now recommit to continue advocating for stronger protections so future generations have access to clean water and all of our nation’s waters are free from harmful pollution.”
Watch a video of the event here. View pictures from the event here.