Washington, D.C.-The Committee on Environment and Public Works today approved several bipartisan bills that will protect the environment and strengthen homeland security, including implementing legislation for the Treaty on Persistent Organic Pollutants, one of President Bush’s top priorities, the Emergency and Preparedness Response Act of 2003, the Disaster Area Health and Monitoring Act of 2003, the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, and the Marine Turtle Conservation Act of 2003.


“Once again, Republican and Democratic members of the committee worked together to address several critical environmental and homeland security issues,” Inhofe said. “From protecting the watersheds in New York City to reforming programs to help police, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel, these bills represent important elements in the committee’s agenda for the 108th Congress.”


“I was also pleased that the stakeholders finally reached a compromise on the POPs Treaty. In particular, I want to commend President Bush for his hard work in getting this done.”


The EPW Committee approved the following legislation today (some include amendments passed during the markup):


S. 930, The Emergency Preparedness and Response Act of 2003



  • Purpose: To provide clear authorizing guidance for the first responder grants initiative.



  • Action: Passed Inhofe-Jeffords Manager’s Amendment on the bill’s funding authorization level.



    S. 1279, Disaster Area Health and Environmental Monitoring Act of 2003



  • Purpose: Amends the Stafford Act to address the federal government’s role in monitoring the health and safety of emergency personnel exposed to the harmful substances as a result of disaster.



  • Action: Passed Voinovich-Clinton amendment to make technical changes to the bill.


    POPs Implementing Bill



  • Purpose: A bill to implement the Treaty on Persistent Organic Pollutants.


    S. 793, A bill to provide for increased energy savings and environmental benefits through the increased use of recovered mineral component in federally funded projects involving procurement of cement or concrete.



  • Action: Passed Inhofe amendment to make technical changes.


    S. 1425, A bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to reauthorize the New York City Watershed Protection Program



  • Action: Passed Clinton amendment to reauthorize the program through 2004.


    S. 551, Southern Ute and Colorado Intergovernmental Agreement Implementation Act of 2003



  • Purpose: Authorizes the EPA Administrator to treat the Southern Ute Indian Tribe of Colorado as a State for delegation of implementing and enforcing air quality control programs under the Clean Air Act through an intergovernmental agreement between the Southern Ute Tribe and the state of Colorado.



  • Action: Passed Inhofe amendment to reinstate citizen suit provisions.


    H.R. 274, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Expansion Act



  • Purpose: Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to acquire Garrett Island, a 198-acre island located at the mouth of the Susquehanna River in Cecil County, Maryland.


    S. 269, Captive Wildlife Safety Act


  • Purpose: Outlaws interstate and foreign commerce for the pet trade-targeting unregulated individuals who traffic in “big cats” as exotic pets.



  • Action: Passed Jeffords-Inhofe amendment to make clarifying changes to the bill.


    S. 1210, Marine Turtle Conservation Act of 2003



  • Purpose: Directs the Secretary of the Interior to establish a program to review, approve, and fund qualified marine turtle conservation projects.


    H.R. 1018, To designate the building located at 1 Federal Plaza in New York, New York, as the “James L. Watson United States Court of International Trade Building”


    FY 2004 Capital and Investment Leasing Program



    Action: Passed Clinton Amendment to change project scope to include the modernization and expansion of the border station in Champlain, N.Y.