The Local Water Protection Act would reauthorize an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 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. 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.
“In Minnesota, we take the quality of our 10,000 lakes very seriously, and we all want to preserve the quality of these important waterways for generations to come,” Klobuchar said. “Local communities are the experts on the most effective and innovative ways to keep these waterways clean—that’s why our legislation would give local and state governments the resources they need to create the best voluntary conservation programs to ensure that their water is clean and free of harmful pollutants.”
“Whether it’s fighting to expedite Everglades restoration and extend the ban on offshore drilling off of Florida’s Gulf coast, or prompting coordinated 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 effort to promote local stewardship of water quality by increasing federal support for state and local government projects proposed by those folks who know their communities’ needs the best.”
Companion legislation is led in the House of Representatives by Representatives Brian Mast (R-FL) and Angie Craig (D-MN).