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Clean Water Act Exemptions

House Roll Call No. 618
108th Congress, 1st Session

Failed: 188-210 (see complete tally)
Left unchecked, the runoff from oil and gas construction sites pollutes lakes, rivers, and streams with sediment and other contaminants, killing fish and other aquatic life. Runoff from oil and gas sites can even contaminate drinking water supplies with benzene, toluene and heavy metals. Nevertheless, oil and gas companies lobbied for a special exemption from Clean Water Act requirements that limit the stormwater pollution (rain and snow runoff) caused by the construction of pipelines, drilling sites, roads and other infrastructure used in drilling—requirements all other industries must follow.

That exemption was duly included in the House energy bill (H.R. 6). Opponents of the exemptions were denied opportunities in committee and on the House floor to remove it, but when the energy bill went to conference committee, Representative Bob Filner (D-CA) offered a motion instructing House conferees to reject Clean Water Act exemptions for the oil and gas industry. On November 7, 2003, the House rejected the Filner motion by a 188-210 vote (House roll call vote 618). YES is the pro-environment vote. The exemptions remained in the final conference report, which was passed by the House but not yet passed by the Senate.
Environmental Policy and Procedure

Vote Map: House Roll Call No. 618
Votes For : 188
Votes Against : 210
Not Voting : 36


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