Water Quality Act of 1965
What happened then?
- The Water Quality Act of 1965 (signed into law on November 10, 1965) developed water quality standards for watersheds and waterways crossing state boundaries.
- It created a federal agency to set standards in the absence of state action.
- 1965 also saw the passage of the Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act, an important early clean air statute.
Why it still matters today?
- Global warming has caused 12 of the warmest years on record since 1998 and with the continued releasing of greenhouse gasses temperatures will continue to rise.
- According to the National Climate Assessment, the impacts of climate change are visible in every state. It attributes the global warming over the past 50 years to human activities, specifically the burning of fossil fuels.
- Air and water quality has a great impact on human health, particularly among the most vulnerable in society, which makes this a moral issue.
- Extreme weather has played a role in exacerbating drought conditions in many parts of the word. By 2025, it is estimated that 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with water scarcity.
What’s happening now?
- The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed its Clean Power Plan rule to help lower pollution from the power sector by 30% from 2005 levels.
- At the same time, House Republicans’ Energy and Water Appropriations bill would cut investments in clean energy and water infrastructure, and their Interior Appropriations bill would block many of the important initiatives to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
What needs to happen moving forward?
- Congress should pass comprehensive climate legislation that regulates emissions and invests in clean energy infrastructure.
- Congress needs to reach a budget agreement that replaces sequestration and can provide adequate investment into the clean energy technologies and infrastructure of the future.
For more information, please visit: https://democrats-energycommerce.house.gov/about-ec/issues/environment-and-energy
Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act
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