House Farm Bill Fails; Legislation Sought to Gut Fundamental Clean Water, Forestry Protections
WASHINGTON – The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) today released the following statement in response to the House's failure to pass the 2018 Farm Bill. The legislation includes harmful amendments that seek to gut fundamental protections for clean water, and proposes to create major loopholes for timber projects through numerous categorical exclusions (CEs), which would allow numerous forest management projects to bypass any public participation or consideration of impacts to public lands.
“Because the law and strong public support are on the side of protecting clean water, some members of Congress tried to use the Farm Bill as a means to help industry interests with their unpopular effort to roll back essential safeguards in the 2015 Clean Water Rule,” said Navis Bermudez, Federal Legislative Director for the Southern Environmental Law Center. “Thankfully, the bill failed. We hope that Congress will recognize that catering to polluters by putting our rivers, lakes and streams in harm's way is the exact opposite of acting in the public interest, and will instead stand up for their constituents and communities who rely on these critical protections.”
“In addition to undercutting fundamental safeguards for clean water, the House Farm Bill would wreak havoc on our national forests by opening the door to massive clear-cutting while excluding the public from the process,” said Nat Mund, Director of Federal Affairs for the Southern Environmental Law Center. “We hope that as Senators consider their version of the bill, they see these proposals for what they are- direct attacks on bedrock protections for our natural resources-and kick the House Farm Bill to the curb where it belongs.”
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For more than 30 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) has used the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. With over 70 attorneys and nine offices across the region, SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast's foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect our natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region. www.SouthernEnvironment.org