Regulatory Developments, Special Topics in Environmental Management

Water Bill Passes Senate

On September 15, 2016, the Senate passed S. 2848, the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA), by a vote of 95 to 3. While a great deal of the bill is directed at improving the ability of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to undertake navigation, flood management, and ecosystem restoration projects, the bill would also amend the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act to enable the EPA to establish grant programs to fund community water systems serving disadvantaged communities, to reduce lead in water for human consumption, to support voluntary school and childcare lead testing, and to enable innovations that address water challenges.

Also regarding lead, the bill would require the Department of Justice and the EPA inspector general to report on the status of any ongoing investigations into the federal and state response to the contamination of the drinking water supply of Flint, Michigan. After the investigations are completed, the U.S. Government Accountability Office would be required to review issues not addressed by the investigations and make recommendations to prevent similar crises in the future.

Read more.