WASHINGTON - The Republican-controlled House passed a bill yesterday that would sharply curtail the federal government's role in protecting waters from pollution by barring the Environmental Protection Agency from overruling state decisions on water quality.
The bill passed on a 239-184 vote. Sixteen Democrats joined the majority of Republicans in supporting it. The White House threatened to veto the bill, saying that it "would roll back the key provisions . . . that have been the underpinning of 40 years of progress in making the nation's waters fishable, swimmable and drinkable."