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Chairs DeFazio and Napolitano Applaud the Biden EPA’s Move to Strengthen Clean Water Protections Against Pollution from Coal-Fired Power Plants

July 27, 2021

Washington, DC – Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA) released the following statements after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would set stricter limits on the discharge of wastewater from coal-fired power plants, which often contains toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury that contaminate lakes, rivers, and streams near these facilities. In October 2020, the Chairs sent a letter to the Trump administration opposing its final rule to roll back these protections.

“I’m glad to see the Biden administration take this commonsense step to set stricter limits on toxic wastewater discharged from coal-fired power plants,” Chair DeFazio said. “As a result of the Trump administration turning its back on public health, communities across the country have watched the day-to-day contamination of their rivers, streams, and waterbodies, all while waiting for someone to protect their families from these dangerous chemicals. Finally, help is on the way. I look forward to continuing to work with President Biden and his administration to ensure cleaner water for all.”

“At every turn the Trump administration put polluters and their profits over the health and safety of American families. Weakening critical regulations, such as the Stream Electric Power Generating Effluent Guidelines Rule, has had devastating impacts on families near facilities that produce toxic pollution, and communities even beyond them,” Chair Napolitano said. “Ensuring the protection of our waterways and the availability of clean water for every community is vital during times of crisis or not. We applaud and welcome this decision by the Biden administration to correct these wrongdoings of the previous administration and return to the protection of our environment and resources, rather than the protection of polluters and their bottom lines.”

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