The Local Water Protection Act would reauthorize an Environmental Protection Agency grant program that provides funds for states to develop and implement programs to manage nonpoint source water pollution
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced legislation to reduce water pollution in local communities. The Local Water Protection Act would reauthorize an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant program that provides funds for states to develop and implement programs for managing nonpoint source water pollution, or pollution from diffuse sources including runoff from farms, managed forests, and urban areas.
“In the land of 10,000 lakes, we know the importance of preserving the quality of our waterways for future generations,” Klobuchar said. “This legislation would give local and state governments the resources they need to craft effective conservation programs to ensure that their water is clean and free of harmful pollutants.”
“From fighting to expedite Everglades restoration and extending the ban on offshore drilling off of Florida’s coasts, or coordinating action to address harmful algal blooms and coral reef degradation, protecting Florida’s environment remains one of my top priorities in Washington,” Rubio said. “I am proud to join this bipartisan bill to promote local stewardship of water quality by increasing federal support for state and local government projects proposed by the people who know their communities’ needs the best.”
Currently, states retain the primary role for addressing nonpoint source water pollution caused by snowmelt and rainfall runoff, which they do largely through voluntary means and financial incentives. However, according to the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO), available incentives have declined recently, leading to increased water pollution. The Local Water Protection Act would reauthorize $200 million annually for the voluntary grant fund to give local and state governments the flexibility to make conservation improvements aimed at decreasing water pollutants through partnerships within their communities.
Companion legislation was led in the House of Representatives by Representatives Angie Craig (D-MN) and Brian Mast (R-FL) in the prior Congress.