Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Kempthorne Forges Bi-Partisan Fix for Drinking Water Act

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Kempthorne Forges Bi-Partisan Fix for Drinking Water Act

Article excerpt

Sen. Dirk Kempthorne (R-Idaho), Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Sub-committee on Drinking Water, Fisheries and Wildlife, working together with full committee chair, Sen. John Chafee (R-R.I.), concluded months of negotiations on provisions to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act and succeeded in developing a proposal that now has bi-partisan support.

The catalyst that tumbled Democratic opposition to joining with Kempthorne and Chafee was Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), the first Democrat to join on as co-sponsor of the measure early last week. He was subsequently joined by ranking full and subcommittee members Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.) respectively.

The measure has the support of the state and local coalition, including NLC, the National Governors' Association, the National Association of Counties, the U.S. Conference of State Legislators, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, the American Water Works Association and others, which has been working toward attainment of a revised drinking water law for over three years.

At a press conference last Thursday announcing the bi-partisan bill, Sen. Kempthorne indicated his pleasure that the "bill has bi-partisan issue."

"This bill," Kempthorne continued, "allows us to focus our attention and dollars on serious health risks so we can target what really hurts people, allowing federal, state and local public health and water agencies to direct their resources to the areas of greatest risk, instead of spending money on low priority item. …

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