Subcommittee OKs Sewage Right to Know Bill

The Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on May 7 overwhelmingly approved bipartisan legislation that would require the public be notified in the event of a sewage spill.

The Sewage Overflow Community Right to Know Act (H.R. 2452) was introduced by Rep. Timothy Bishop (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) almost 1 year ago. It has wide support on both sides of the aisle with 55 co-sponsors, as well as the support of more than 150 groups and individuals, including the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.

"Clean water isn't and shouldn't be a political issue. The dirty little secret is that each and every year, hundreds of billions of gallons of raw and partially treated sewage finds its way into our waters," said Rebecca Wodder, president of American Rivers. "Taken as a whole, it's enough to cover a state the size of Pennsylvania ankle deep. It's not only disgusting, but it's downright dangerous. Even conservative estimates show we spend billions of dollars each year on health care associated with the problems of contaminated water."

Wodder added, "Once we know just what's in our water, we can then take the steps required to get it out."

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