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Mary Trump's book labels our president a reckless leader who paid a pal to take his SAT test; Nevada lawmakers meet to address pandemic shortfall.

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15 NY Lawmakers Join Effort to Protect Drinking Water

May 23, 2007

Fifteen members of New York's congressional delegation signed on to a bipartisan resolution Tuesday, calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to protect drinking water. Supporters of the resolution say the EPA is taking a narrow approach to water protection under the Bush administration by applying the Clean Water Act only to navigable waterways, not smaller creeks and streams that feed into water supplies. New York Congressman Brian Higgins says this measure tells the agency to protect all U.S. waters.

“I think it's getting back to the original intent, which is inclusive of all bodies of water that have a potential impact on larger bodies of water.”

The EPA responded to the new legislation by saying the agency welcomes, quote, "innovative approaches that provide greater protection to the nation's waterways." Environmentalists say the congressional action would explicitly protect most of the streams and creeks currently in limbo.

Joan Mulhern with Earthjustice points out that the measure would protect drinking water for more than 10 million Americans, including millions in New York and the Great Lakes region.

“Certainly included in that is the drinking water supplies for many people in New York, including upstate and also in New York City where they rely on source water protection in the Clean Water Act to keep the waters pure, as opposed to having expensive filtration systems.”

Higgins notes that Clean Water Act has had enormous benefits over the last 30 years, and he's worried that the White House is chipping away at the law.

“Buffalo, New York, Lake Erie. The major bodies of water that made those cities great historically were ruined because of heavy pollution, and that's originally what the Clean Water Act was intended to address.”

Michael Clifford/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NY