New video shows voices of Virginians for clean water as Senate considers rolling back protections

environment vaAfter delivering over 10,000 petition in support of the EPA’s Clean Water Rule to Senator Mark Warner, Environment Virginia released a new video demonstrating support for clean water across the commonwealth.

“From the Potomac and James Rivers to the Chesapeake Bay, our rivers and streams will be cleaner thanks to President Obama’s historic action,” said Sarah Bucci, State Director with Environment Virginia, “and so will the drinkign water for over 2 million Virginians.”

The 2 1/2 minute video [] released today features mothers, health professionals, recreational business and farmers from across Virginia discussing their support for the Clean Water Rule.

“Virginia, where we row, has beautiful rivers. The more pollution you get, from many different sources, everything that’s in that water, we pick up on our boats when we’re rowing and I see that every day,” said Tom O’Rourke, Executive Director and Head Coach of River City Crew. “This [clean water rule] should be something all Congressman and Senators get behind.”

“What I”m worried about as a pediatric nurse is if these sources continue to be contaminated with impunity its only a matter of time before we all get sick from that,” said Illana Naylor, a pediatric nurse from Manassas. “I’m very thankful for this new rule. We not only have to thank President Obama, we need to thank Gina McCarthy and the EPA. We want to urge Senator Warner to support it”

“We irrigate for our garden out of our lake, so we have to count on the fact that the water in the lake is clean enough so we’re not contaminating our vegetables. I’m very excited about the EPA’s rules,” said Anne Mallek on her farm in Albemarle County.

Over 28,0000 miles of Virginia’s streams, including those feeding the James River, gained federal protections under a final rule signed on May 27, 2015 by top Obama administration officials. The measure restores Clean Water Act safeguards to small streams and headwaters that have been vulnerable to development and pollution for nearly ten years.

But big developers, agribusiness and polluting industries have lined up against the Clean Water Rule and congressional leaders are following their lead. The U.S. House has passed multiple bills to block or severely weaken the rule.

Last month, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works committee passed a measure by Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo) to thwart the rule. This bill will likely be voted on by the full Senate later this summer.

“Senator Mark Warner has sided with our rivers over the polluters before, and now Virginians are calling on him to do so again,” said Bucci. “The EPA has signed and sealed critical protections for our rivers and streams, but they simply won’t get delivered without Senator Warner.”


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