Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

House Rejects New Sewer Funding, Stops Revisions to Arsenic Rule

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

House Rejects New Sewer Funding, Stops Revisions to Arsenic Rule

Article excerpt

The House of Representatives completed action on the fiscal 2002 Environmental Protection Agency Appropriations bill (part of the VA/HUD/Independent Agencies Appropriations measure -- H.R. 2620) late last Monday night, approving the measure by 89-336. The bill provides $1.2 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and $850 million for the Drinking Water SRF -- a $150 million decrease for wastewater needs and a $25 million increase for drinking water compliance.

By a vote of 99 "yeas" to 325 "nays," the House rejected an amendment to the fiscal 2002 EPA appropriation (H.R. 2620) that would have moved $140 million from Superfund to the combined and sanitary sewer overflow grants program approved by Congress last December.

The motion, proposed by Reps. James Barcia (D-Mich.) and Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio), was characterized by Barcia as "a mere down payment" in hopes of increasing the appropriation in conference with the Senate bill (which, thus far, does not include funding for CSOs and SSOs) to either the $750 million authorized for the program or the $450 million proposed in the president's budget. LaTourette said, "While the subcommittee ... is willing to give loans to communities, there is no grant program in place that would take care of this problem across the country."

Conceding the funding provided by the fiscal 2002 EPA appropriations measure in the House -- which includes $1.2 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and $200 million for "targeted" grants -- is inadequate to meet the needs of CSO and SSO communities, Subcommittee Chair Rep. …

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