House Democrats introduce Clean Water Act of 2023

October 26, 2023

On the 51st anniversary of the Clean Water Act, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation, and Infrastructure Rick Larsen (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) and 114 House Democrats introduced the Clean Water Act of 2023. The legislation is a reaction to the May 2023 U.S. Supreme Court case of Sackett v. EPA, as well as a May 2023 roundtable of democrats and clean water advocates entitled "Murky Waters: Navigating a Post-Sackett World." To see the report from the roundtable, click here. Several national-level environmental groups followed the introduction with their own congratulatory press releases, including Earthjustice, National Wildlife Federation, Clean Water Action and League of Conservation Voters.

The legislation defines a new term "protected water resources," which replaces the term "navigable waters" throughout the Clean Water Act. One of the stated purposes of the legislation is to "eliminate confusion initiated by the Supreme Court's overly narrow interpretation of the term 'navigable waters'" and to "reestablish the comprehensive authority necessary to meet the codified objectives of the Clean Water Act." Click here to read the full legislative text.

UEP continues to be engaged in efforts of the Waters Advocacy Coalition to address legislative, regulatory, and legal aspects of the WOTUS rule. For questions regarding the Clean Water Act, contact Tom Hebert or Lauren Lurkins.