March 02, 2021

Duckworth to Chair U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water & Wildlife


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) will chair the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water & Wildlife in the 117th Congress. The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over matters relating to water, water pollution, drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, ocean dumping, fisheries and wildlife, invasive species, sportsmen’s issues and environmental aspects of Outer Continental Shelf Lands, as well as the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act.

“I’m honored to serve as Chair of the Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee and in this role I look forward to tackling many of the environmental challenges our nation faces,” said Duckworth. “As Chair, I’ll continue working to protect and strengthen the Great Lakes, the largest body of fresh water in the world that provides drinking water to tens of millions of Americans, and I’ll work to address the threat of contaminated water as well as aging water and drinking water infrastructure—a public health crisis across the nation.”

“As a member of the EPW Committee and a co-founder of the Senate’s Environmental Justice Caucus, Senator Duckworth is a proven leader in this space and I’m proud that she will chair this important subcommittee,” said Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Chair of the EPW Committee. “I look forward to working with her and have no doubt that under her leadership, we’ll make strides in many areas of importance, including ensuring every American has access to safe drinking water and tackling environmental justice issues across the country.”

As a member of EPW, Duckworth has been a strong advocate for protecting the Great Lakes from threats like toxic pollution and invasive species. As the Ranking Member of the Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee last Congress, Senator Duckworth worked to secure provisions within the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) 2020 Reauthorization to enhance protections for Chicago shorelines, advance Illinois lock and dam modernization projects, increase funding for Great Lakes port and harbor projects, safeguard the Great Lakes from the scourge of Asian Carp and advance critical improvement projects along Chicago-related waterways. Duckworth also introduced the Great Lakes Water Protection Act to improve water quality in the Great Lakes and create a dedicated fund to help clean up sewage in the Great Lakes. In addition, she worked to integrate EPA water regulatory and critical water infrastructure programs into the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 which was passed into law. This bill improved drinking water and water quality, infrastructure investments, enhanced public health and quality of life with over 30 EPA mandated programs.

As a co-founder of the Senate’s first-ever Environmental Justice Caucus, Duckworth has worked to raise awareness of the many environmental and pollution issues that have created public health challenges which disproportionately impact low income communities and communities of color. As Chair of the Subcommittee, she looks forward to incorporating policy and programmatic changes in order to better protect our most vulnerable communities from these environmental concerns.