Reed, Murphy Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Waterways
Today, U.S. Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Patrick E. Murphy (D-FL) introduced the Impaired Waters Improvement Act to assist local governments and farmers in improving water quality through water infrastructure upgrades and conservation practices. The bill establishes a grant program to help local governments and farmers implement methods to reduce nutrient runoff that can have a serious impact on waterways and comes at no cost to taxpayers.
“Our farmers, our communities need help to improve runoff practices and community sewer and wastewater systems,” Rep. Reed said. “With this common sense bill we can give communities at the local level opportunities to improve water quality and infrastructure at no cost to taxpayers. Farmers and communities working hard to meet water quality requirements fairly deserve this help. I’m proud to join with my friend from across the aisle, Rep. Patrick Murphy, on this bill to care for water quality.”
“For decades, the waterways in my district have suffered from nutrient-heavy discharges from Lake Okeechobee and local runoff that negatively impacts the ecosystem as well as the Treasure Coast-Palm Beach economy,” Rep. Murphy said. “If we are to improve the health of our waters we need to have an all-of-the-above approach and find creative ways to address these issues. Our bill does just that, providing farmers and ranchers with the means to construct innovative water storage projects. Locally, these water farming projects can help clean and store water before it reaches the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. I look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Reed on this important issue, showing that the health of our environment and the vital role it plays in our economies is not a Democrat or Republican issue, nor a Florida or New York problem.”
The Impaired Waters Improvement Act establishes a grant program to help communities and the local agriculture industry with meeting Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements, upgrade sewer and wastewater systems and help improve agriculture runoff practices. The bill is fully paid for by a fee on penalties assessed under violations of the Clean Water Act.