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Rep. Peter DeFazio Invites Joe Moll, Executive Director of McKenzie River Trust, to State of the Union Address

Feb 4, 2020
Press Release
DeFazio Emphasizes Need for Clean Water Protections Ahead of President Trump’s Address

Following President Trump’s rollback of critical clean water protections, Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) today invited Joe Moll, Executive Director of the McKenzie River Trust, to the State of the Union Address as his guest.

“Access to clean water ought to be a right, not a privilege,” said Rep. DeFazio (OR-04). “The Trump Administration’s misguided rollbacks of critical protections for our streams and wetlands are a threat to the drinking water of more than 117 million Americans and the survival of countless species, and open millions of acres of wetlands to development and pollution. In fact, President Trump remains hell-bent on taking us back to an era when our nation’s rivers were so polluted they caught on fire and the Willamette River was an open sewer. Joe Moll and his team at the McKenzie River Trust have devoted themselves to protecting critical habitats and scenic lands in the McKenzie River basin, an important watershed area for western Oregon. I invited Joe in order to highlight the importance of clean water protections and what we stand to lose without them in place.”

“Across the United States and particularly in the West, the threats to healthy land, water, and human communities are tremendous,” said Joe Moll, Executive Director of the McKenzie River Trust. “Pollution in ecologically-sensitive streams and wetlands can disrupt native vegetation and water cycles, damaging ecosystems and harming critical habitat. I applaud Rep. DeFazio’s work supporting the McKenzie River basin and his leadership in developing infrastructure programs that demonstrate a commitment to land, water, and people in western Oregon.”

The Trump Administration’s so-called “Dirty Water Rule” significantly rolls back decades-old Clean Water Act protections and allows for the pollution of drinking water sources for more than 117 million people. Prior to passage of the Clean Water Act, our nation’s waters were used as a dumping ground for chemicals and untreated sewage. In the 1970s, pollution led to high-profile water quality disasters such as the Cuyahoga River fire and the pronouncement of the Great Lakes as ecologically “dead.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that Trump’s Dirty Water Rule would eliminate Clean Water Protections on between 18 to 71 percent of the nation’s stream and river miles, and over 50 percent of wetlands.

Joe Moll has been Executive Director of McKenzie River Trust in Eugene, Oregon, since January 2005. In April 2018 he was appointed by Governor Brown to serve as the Commissioner for the West Central Region on the Oregon Water Resources Commission. Joe was the founding Board President for the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts (COLT) and has been a stakeholder in the Willamette River Initiative, the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program, and related multi-agency collaborations in land and water conservation. Prior to his move to Oregon, Joe worked in wildlife habitat conservation and wildlife-human conflict management in Montana and in Hokkaido, Japan beginning in 1992.