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E&E News: Inhofe plans bipartisan bill tightening lead restrictions
September 20, 2010

Posted by Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov 

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Inhofe plans bipartisan bill tightening lead restrictions

(09/20/2010)

Paul Quinlan, E&E reporter

Link to Article

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) is expected to introduce a bipartisan bill this week to reduce lead in drinking water.

The measure would tighten the legal definition of "lead free" for pipes and fixtures from 8 percent to 0.25 percent lead in parts that touch water.

The bill represents one of the least controversial portions of a broad water infrastructure bill (H.R. 5320) the House passed in July. That bill would, among other things, reauthorize the state revolving fund for $5 billion over three years to pay for new water infrastructure (Greenwire, July 30).

Senate leaders maintain that their companion bill (S. 1005), which passed the Environment and Public Works Committee last May with bipartisan support, has little chance of advancing.

"We don't expect that bill will get passed on the Senate floor, so we've taken this one component out," said Matt Dempsey, spokesman for Inhofe, the EPW Committee's top Republican.

Political support for pumping more money into the state revolving fund dried up this summer as U.S. EPA released a new water-needs survey that changes the way the money is divided among states, Senate aides say.

"We think we can move this," Dempsey said. "We have a lot of interest on both sides of the aisle."

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