Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said: "I am so pleased that the EPW Committee worked across the aisle to approve all of these important bills today. We are taking significant steps to protect our drinking water supplies from chemical spills, restore our water resources, such as the San Francisco Bay, and ensure communities near contaminated sites are cleaned up and revitalized. I look forward to working with my colleagues as we move forward with this legislation in the full Senate."
The measures that were approved during today's business meeting are listed below:
S. 1961, the Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act
S. 1961, which was introduced by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Boxer and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), includes common sense measures designed to ensure chemical tanks are properly inspected by state officials and both the chemical industry and emergency response agencies are prepared for future chemical incidents or emergencies. The bill would strengthen states' ability to prevent chemical spills like the January 9th spill that contaminated the water supply in nine West Virginia counties and impacted more than 300,000 West Virginians.
S. 224, San Francisco Bay Restoration Act
The San Francisco Bay Restoration Act, introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Boxer amends the Clean Water Act to establish a grant program for the restoration of the San Francisco Bay. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State of California, local governments, non-governmental agencies, and other stakeholders have developed a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan to improve water quality and the health of the Bay, and the bill will support implementation of this plan.
S. 491, Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development (BUILD) Act of 2013
S. 491, originally introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) along with Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Tom Udall (D-NM), would reauthorize EPA's Brownfields program and help revitalize communities with contaminated waste sites. The legislation supports cleanups and site assessments of contaminated sites and provides technical assistance to rural and disadvantaged communities to help with cleanup efforts. Senators Boxer, Udall, Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Crapo offered an amendment that was approved to provide technical assistance to rural and disadvantaged communities.
S. 2080, National Fish Habitat Conservation Act (NFHCA)
S. 2080 was introduced by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Crapo and will help support local fish habitat conservation efforts. NFHCA better coordinates local efforts to restore regional fish habitats to ensure individual efforts will result in the greatest improvements to fish habitat across regional watersheds.
S. 2042, Clean Estuaries Act of 2014
S. 2042, introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), amends the Clean Water Act to reauthorize the National Estuary Program. The bill revises the purpose of management conferences convened to guide voluntary estuary restoration efforts and expands requirements governing the comprehensive conservation and management plans prepared by each estuary program.
S. 1934, Clifford P. Hansen Federal Courthouse Conveyance Act
S. 1934, introduced by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Mike Enzi (R- WY), would direct the federal government to convey the Clifford P. Hansen Federal Courthouse to Teton County, Wyoming.
S. 2055, Corps of Engineers Cooperative Joint Management Restoration Act
S. 2055, introduced by Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), allows collected fees to be reinvested for the operation, maintenance, and management of recreation facilities and natural resources at civil works projects where the fees are collected.
Corps Study Resolution: Point Judith, Rhode Island
The Point Judith Study Resolution directs the Corps of Engineers to re-examine an already authorized study and evaluate the costs and benefits of modifying an existing project to address shoreline protection and erosion prevention.
15 GSA resolutions were also approved.