Excerpt from Watershed Restoration Acts: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Environment and Natural Resources of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, Second Session
We are not going to bring these waterways back simply by apply ing technology. We have to raise the environmental consciousness in these areas, and we have seen as we look at the Anacostia River, how easy that is with just a little bit of help from the government.
What we have had in the Anacostia is here and there, this and that, and a wonderful cooperation in the region, but it has not been systematic enough to make you think that you are in fact cleaning the river. You do not have that sense.
My bill also has environmental justice objectives. For example, the Anacostia runs through areas that are slum areas virtually in the District of Columbia, as well as through beautiful areas of the District of Columbia and beautiful suburban areas in the State of Maryland. But it is, of course, not coincidental that the areas in the District that have seen toxic dumping also are the areas where the river has gotten more than its fair share of dumping.
Mr. Chairman, the waterways I am talking about have it all. They have the raw sewage, they have every conceivable kind of runoff, they have man-made dumping, and yet these are the work horse waterways of America. In many cases, they are the water ways that built the great cities and urban areas. I hope we will not allow them to sink into eyesores or stink holes, as some of them are becoming.
My bill is both a freestanding bill, and in an abbreviated form, it is now included in the Public Works and Transportation version of the Clean Water Act, assuming we ever get that act through. I ask you to report it out in both forms, and I very much appreciate your early look at and consideration of this bill.
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