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New Bills Promote Clean U.S. Waters
Three bills to protect U.S. waters and ensure healthy communities on the banks of U.S. rivers and lakes were considered by the U.S. House of Representatives this week, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
The bills, the Water Quality Financing Act of 2007 (HR 720), the Healthy Communities Water Supply Act of 2007 (HR 700) and the Water Quality Investment Act (HR 569), authorize nearly $16 billion over four years for clean water infrastructure.
Such projects include rebuilding wastewater systems in communities where, in the case of heavy rains, sewers overflow into rivers and streams. In communities incapable of funding new systems, not only does the health of their citizens suffer, but also the well being of those living downstream, NRDC says.
H.R. 720, which the House plans to vote on today, would reauthorize the clean water state revolving fund at $14 billion from fiscal year 2008-2011 and authorize a study on potential funding mechanisms and resources available to establish a clean water trust fund.
H.R. 569, which passed in the House recently, authorizes $1.8 billion in grants to address sewer overflows and other wet weather issues.
H.R. 700, which also passed in the House, amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to increase the amount of authorized appropriations for the pilot program for alternative water source projects.