Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Local Communities Protect Their Drinking Water ** Portman and Shaheen’s legislation would provide federal resources and support to states dealing with drinking water contamination **
BigNews.Biz - Apr 15,2017 - Portman, Shaheen to Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Local Communities Protect Their Drinking Water From Harmful Contaminants
** Portman and Shaheen’s legislation would provide federal resources and support to states dealing with drinking water contamination **
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) will soon introduce bipartisan legislation to improve federal efforts to identify the public health effects of emerging contaminants such as perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) and cyanotoxins. These potentially harmful and unregulated materials are increasingly being detected in drinking water across the country, including in Ohio and New Hampshire. The Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act addresses barriers that limit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) response to emerging contaminants. The bill also expedites analysis of these harmful chemicals and provides support and resources to states dealing with the health challenges posed by these potentially harmful materials.
“The Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act will improve federal efforts to identify the health impacts of unregulated contaminants found in our drinking water sources, such as cyanotoxins, which contribute to the harmful algal blooms found on Lake Erie and in water bodies throughout Ohio.” said Portman. “In addition, this legislation builds upon my legislation that was signed into law, the Microbeads Free Waters Act, to phase out the production of plastic microbeads, another contaminant found in the Great Lakes that threatens public health and ecosystems. Lake Erie is not only a precious resource, but it also provides drinking water for 11 million people and this bill takes steps to protect this important asset for Ohio.”
“I’ve spoken with Granite State families who are worried about their children getting sick from drinking contaminated water, and I share their concerns,” said Shaheen. “We need to give these families peace of mind, and the federal government needs to be a better partner to New Hampshire communities that are working tirelessly to ensure the safety of their drinking water. My bipartisan legislation bolsters cooperation between the EPA and local communities and also makes agency resources more easily accessible. It’s time for Democrats and Republicans to come together to protect the health and well-being of the families we represent.”
The Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act establishes a national strategy to coordinate the federal response to emerging contaminants, and provides assistance to states in responding to these materials. Specifically, the legislation would:
Direct the EPA to create a voluntary program to provide federal support and technical assistance to communities that have detected emerging contaminants in their water supply.
Establish and maintain a comprehensive database of resources to assist states and water stakeholders with testing for emerging contaminants.
Direct the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services to convene an interagency working group to improve Federal efforts to identify the health impacts of emerging contaminants.
Direct the Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop an interagency federal research strategy to improve the identification, analysis and treatment of emerging contaminants.