Sunday, November 17, 2019

Latino Organizations Express Fervent Support for EPA Waters of the U.S. Rule

ginalulacProminent Latino organizations and advocacy groups including the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Hispanic Federation and National Hispanic Environmental Council are among dozens of Hispanic organizations that have been at forefront of efforts to bolster support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Waters of the United States rule.

The proposed rule would assert the EPA’s regulatory authority over the nation’s smaller water ways. A total of twenty-eight Latino organizations have expressed their unwavering support for the rule that they believe will be instrumental in curbing the detrimental economic and health effects of polluted water sources harming Latinos. The groups are also encouraging lawmakers to incorporate strong language and regulations into the rule in light of recent polling that suggests Latinos, regardless of party affiliation, favor strict environmental protections.

National Hispanic Environmental Council (NHEC) president, Roger Rivera notes that the, “EPA’s proposed rule is critically important to the public and environmental health of all Americans, but especially Latinos.  The rule provides needed clarifications and strong additional protections against on-going legislative and other efforts to weaken the Clean Water Act.”

The rule has encountered staunch opposition from Republicans and business groups who claim the EPA is overstepping its authority with the rule. Opponents claim the rule could potentially harm small businesses and farmers but the EPA asserts that the purpose of the rule is to protect the nation’s waterways and the many that depend on these water sources.

These group’s latest efforts are particularly telling of the diversity of issues Latinos care about beyond immigration. Maite Arce, president of Hispanic Access Foundation noted that environmental issues are extremely important to Latinos and during this highly contested election season Latinos will “want to support those candidates who are aligned with them on this issue.”

The Hill