House Water Bill Advances Flint, Key Restoration Projects

“Clean drinking water for all Americans is non-negotiable.”

WASHINGTON  – Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, commented on the passage of the House water resources bill today with this statement:

“For more than two years, the people of Flint have been unable to safely drink their water, take a bath or even wash their dishes with tap water. We are pleased the House bill authorizes funding to address the continuing crisis in Flint. We will insist the version coming out of conference includes the Senate’s $100 million in dedicated, immediate funding for Flint. Clean drinking water for all Americans is non-negotiable.

“We are pleased that both the House and Senate bills include key efforts to restore Great Lakes, the Everglades and the Los Angeles River. The Senate bill authorizes additional restoration efforts in the Delaware River Basin, the Long Island Sound, and Lake Tahoe. As the bill moves to conference, we will work to ensure all these worthy initiatives are included in the final bill. 

“We are also pleased the House bill encourages the Army Corps to more fully consider the use of natural and nature-based design features—such as using wetlands or natural areas for flood control—wherever appropriate in its projects. Nature-based solutions are a proven, cost-effective way to protect communities while conserving habitat for wildlife.

"We also look forward to working with the conferees to prevent the destruction of fish and wildlife habitat and release of toxic pollutants into our nation’s waters, resulting from unnecessary or poorly designed dredging projects. To this end, we are pleased the final House bill ultimately removed a provision relating to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund that would have encouraged, regardless of need, the dredging of ports and harbors across the country. We also oppose the authorization of the Port Everglades dredging project, which as currently proposed will cause significant harm to the region’s irreplaceable coral reefs. 

“As we look towards the conference, we will advocate for a final version of the water bill that provides robust and immediate funding for Flint, and that moves forward with the full list of critical ecosystem restoration efforts.”

Additional Resources:

National Wildlife Federation Analysis of the House Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (H.R. 5303)
National Wildlife Federation Letter to the Senate on WRDA
Leaders from Flint call on Congress to Provide Federal Aid to Communities with Elevated Levels of Lead in Tap Water
The National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization, uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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