Representatives Angie Craig, Brian Mast Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Reduce Water Pollution
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Angie Craig (D-MN) and Brian Mast (R-FL) reintroduced the Local Water Protection Act, a bipartisan bill to reduce water pollution in local communities.
The Local Water Protection Act would reauthorize an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant program that provides funds for states to develop and implement programs for managing nonpoint source water pollution, or pollution from diffuse sources including runoff from farms, managed forests and urban areas.
The bill passed the House in the 116th Congress on a wide bipartisan basis and was also included and passed in H.R.2, the Moving Forward Act.
“Minnesota’s lakes and waterways are critical not only for tourism and transporting agricultural goods, but also to the natural beauty of our state that we’re so proud of,” said Representative Craig. “I appreciate Representative Mast’s continued partnership on the bipartisan Local Water Protection Act to help us renew and increase the funding to keep our waters clean and safe for generations to come.”
“Nobody should lack access to clean and safe water, but sadly, that’s the reality for far too many communities in our country. This bipartisan bill will increase federal support to address pollution from agricultural runoff, assist with septic to sewer conversions and prevent other forms of pollution. Not another day should be allowed to go by where the federal government allows Americans to be poisoned through the water they drink, bathe or swim in,” said Representative Mast.
Currently, states retain the primary role for addressing nonpoint source water pollution caused by snowmelt and rainfall runoff, which they do largely through voluntary means and financial incentives. However, according to the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO), available incentives have declined recently, leading to increased water pollution. The Local Water Protection Act would reauthorize $200 million annually for the voluntary grant fund to give local and state governments the flexibility to make conservation improvements aimed at decreasing water pollutants through partnerships within their communities.
Companion legislation is led in the U.S. Senate by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).