House Tells Bush to Leave Clean Water Act Rules Alone

More than half of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives last week told President Bush to back off from proposed changes that would reduce protections for wetlands and streams under the Clean Water Act. In a letter sent to Bush, 218 representatives, including 26 Republicans, asked the administration to abandon a rulemaking process started in January that would redefine which waters and wetlands are to be safeguarded by the federal government. “The Clean Water Act is a landmark piece of legislation which shouldn’t be diluted,” said Rep. Jim Saxton (R-N.J.). The letter represents one of the most significant congressional attempts to fight Bush’s rollbacks of environmental protections. The administration responded by saying that it has not yet decided whether or how to change the rules governing wetlands.