Next week the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture will vote on whether to exempt pesticide applications from Clean Water Act protections. Please send a message to U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein asking them to oppose this ill-advised legislation and to advocate for moving it from the Agriculture Committee to the Environment and Public Works Committee, where it will get full environmental review.
Last month we asked you to take action to oppose HR 872, the U.S. House version of this legislation. We almost successed in defeating it: the bill would have lost with only three more votes against it. Now we need to make sure California's Senators are standing up for our waterways. More than 1,000 rivers, creeks and bays are already known to be severely polluted by pesticides in this country – many of them in California.
In 2009, San Francisco Baykeeper defeated an attempt by the Bush Administration to exempt pesticides from the Clean Water Act when a federal Court of Appeals reaffirmed that pesticides are pollutants when applied to waterways and must be federally regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Water Act. With this legislation, the chemical and agricultural industries are attempting to undo this court victory and revoke EPA's duty to protect waterways from pesticides.
Pesticides are manufactured to be toxic to living things and have caused harm to public health and aquatic ecosystems, particularly fish and amphibian life. They can also move up the food chain and contaminate drinking water supplies.
Please send a message to Senators Boxer and Feinstein today urging a "no" vote on this legislation. Clean Water Act regulations are vital for protecting the health of our waterways, aquatic life and local communities. Thank you for taking action on behalf of healthy waterways here in the Bay and around the country!