Washington, DC - Today, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), approved several measures including S. 3874, the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act and S. 3973, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010. Other bills approved today will help improve wildlife refuges and employ veterans in historic preservation efforts. The measures all passed by voice vote, and will now go to the full Senate for consideration.
Senator Boxer said: "I am pleased that the committee has worked to help ensure our families and children have safer drinking water and cleaner air to breathe. These measures will also help improve our nation's treasured wildlife refuges and historic preservation efforts. I look forward to working with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to move these bills through the full Senate as quickly as possible."
A complete list of the approved measures is below:
S. 3874, the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act
S. 3874 was introduced by Senator Boxer, and EPW Ranking Member Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). Lead is a dangerous contaminant that can harm the nervous system and brain development, and is especially dangerous for pregnant women, infants and children. Currently, federal law allows plumbing fixtures that carry drinking water to have as much as 8 percent lead. Under the legislation that was approved today, the standard will change so that the wetted surface of such plumbing cannot contain more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead.
S. 3973, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010
S. 3973 was introduced by Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) and Senator Tom Carper (D-DE). Diesel emissions have been linked to premature death, aggravation of symptoms associated with asthma, and numerous other health impacts. The bill is a five-year reauthorization of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2005, which established a voluntary national and state-level grant and loan program to reduce diesel emissions. S. 3973 will also slightly expand the scope of the underlying law, including by allowing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish rebates, along with loans and grants, to promote diesel emissions reductions.
H.R. 5282, To provide funds to the Army Corps of Engineers to hire veterans and members of the Armed Forces to assist the Corps with curation and historic preservation activities, and for other purposes
Introduced by Congressman John Barrow (D-GA), this legislation directs the Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers, to develop a Veterans' Curation Program to hire veterans and members of the Armed Forces to assist the Secretary in carrying out curation and historic preservation activities. The bill authorizes appropriations for these activities for FY2011-FY2015. H.R. 5282 passed the House by voice vote on September 15, 2010.
H.R.4973, National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Improvement Act of 2010
H.R. 4973 was introduced by Congressman Frank Kratovil (D-MD). This bill would reauthorize the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (USFWS) National Wildlife Refuge volunteer and partnership programs from 2011-2014. It also requires the Secretary of the Interior to submit a report to Congress that evaluates the accomplishments of the volunteer program, the community partnerships program, and the refuge education programs authorized under the Act, and make recommendations for improving the effectiveness of such programs. The bill passed the House by voice vote on July 13, 2010.
Samuel Epstein Angel, nominee to be a Member of the Mississippi River Commission
The EPW committee also approved the nomination of Samuel Epstein Angel to be a Member of the Mississippi River Commission (MRC) for a term of nine years. This will be Mr. Angel's fourth term as a Member of the Commission. The MRC's mission is to develop plans to improve the Mississippi River, foster navigation, promote commerce, and prevent destructive floods.
The committee also approved 18 General Services Administration (GSA) resolutions, and the following designation bills during today's business meeting:
HR 5651, To designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 515 9th Street in Rapid City, South Dakota, as the "Andrew W. Bogue Federal Building and United States Courthouse".
HR 5706, To designate the building occupied by the Government Printing Office located at 31451 East United Avenue in Pueblo, Colorado, as the "Frank Evans Government Printing Office Building".
HR 5773, To designate the Federal building located at 6401 Security Boulevard in Baltimore, Maryland, commonly known as the Social Security Administration Operations Building, as the "Robert M. Ball Federal Building".
HR 4387, To designate the Federal building located at 100 North Palafox Street in Pensacola, Florida, as the "Winston E. Arnow Federal Building".