GreenLatinos Community Reaction to SCOTUS Sackett v. EPA Court Ruling

WASHINGTON— Today, the Supreme Court released a decision that puts profits and continued “control” of our environment and our water over the well-being of our communities and our climate. By narrowing which water bodies, like wetlands, streams and adjacent water bodies, deserve to be protected under the Clean Water Act, the court has thwarted the creation of life and sided with the status quo.  The decision denies the reality that we are all intimately connected, like the water that flows above ground and below ground, whether or not you choose to believe this fact.

In response to this decision, the GreenLatinos community shares the following statements:

“We know agua es vida and this decision unfortunately continues to catapult us into a world where communities are sacrificed for the “good” of the few. Water is a human right, and should not be treated as a commodity. Today, shamefully, the Supreme Court has aligned with polluters that want to control and manipulate people and the environment for their individual gains, making it harder to build a world where these harmful impacts to our communities are prevented and no longer tolerated. State officials and Congress must act quickly to remediate the implications of this decision. Nevertheless, we will continue building partnerships with our families, community leaders and environmental advocates to keep using all the safeguards we have in place to ensure all of us have access to clean, healthy, reliable, and affordable water for drinking, recreation, economic stability, and both mental and physical health. Our work for environmental liberation continues. ” said Mariana Del Valle Prieto Cervantes, GreenLatinos Chief of Staff

“WOTUS protections are essential for Colorado waterways. Here in the Headwaters State we know that at least half of our waterways are impacted by this rule. Millions of people are downstream from Colorado and we bear the responsibility of protecting the water. If these rules are weakened then we believe Colorado will step up our protective laws, but what is unfortunate is that we believe these protections are as important here as they are to Alabama, Montana or any other state. “ said Ean Tafoya, Colorado State Director of GreenLatinos

"The Friends of Toppenish Creek in Washington State strongly oppose efforts to weaken the Clean Water Act, especially changes that allow degradation of wetlands. Wetlands are ecosystems that protect us from flooding, provide food, clean pollutants from groundwater, and are critical to wildlife. People in our community are fish eaters. The fish in Washington rivers, streams, and estuaries are under attack and need wetlands to survive." said Jean Mendoza, Executive Director of Friends of Toppenish Creek

“The integrity of our water is paramount to our collective survival, for it unites us as deeply as the earth itself. As the Supreme Court deliberates Sackett v. EPA, we must remember that undermining the Clean Water Act would expose vulnerable communities, particularly Latino/a/x, low-income, Indigenous, and communities of color, to even greater pollution and hardship. With 71% of Latino/a/x people already concerned about water pollution, the court must recognize the gravity of this decision and uphold the Clean Water Act's safeguards, ensuring the protection of our vital ecosystems and the health of all communities for generations to come.” said Ronald Zorrilla, CEO of Outdoor Promise

“As a kid I had no idea that here in Laredo, TX, we only had one source of water, nor did I know that we should be protecting it and preserving it. It wasn't til I returned from the Navy with children of my own and realized how bad our water was when I gave my kids water out of the faucet the way my mother used to do with me. My kids got sick and I realized just how worse it had gotten. It didn't stop though. It seems that people always want to come to our city and build a useless wall to "protect" us from all these made up enemies or crises but won't do anything to protect our people from the lead, carcinogens, and other potentially deadly contaminants in our water. I'm so sick of politicians using us for votes. If you care about us, help us protect our water!” said Maxine Rebeles, GreenLatinos member

“At Por Tu Salud,LLC we are extremely concerned about the Sackett v. EPA case so we urge the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Clean Water Act to ensure that wetlands are deserving of federal protection. We know that wetlands are critical habitats for fish, waterfowl, and other wildlife. They also purify polluted waters and protect communities from the destructive power of floods and storms. This is particularly important now, as communities are already struggling with extreme weather and natural disasters brought on by the climate crisis. In Colorado there is no state program to protect certain wetlands and waterways from dredging, filling and other damage if they’re not covered by the Clean Water Act. Colorado has always relied on the federal government’s program for dredge and fill permits which is why it is critical that the U.S. The Supreme Court to rule in favor of the EPA and decided that wetlands deserve federal protection.” said Juan Roberto Madrid, President of Por Tu Salud, LLC

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