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house Bill H.R. 212

Should The EPA Be Responsible For Managing Algal Toxins In Drinking Water?

Argument in favor

Clean drinking water is essential and uncontrolled algal toxins can contaminate the water supply for an entire city. These instances are preventable, and the EPA needs to take on the responsibility to reduce risks to clean water.

Daniel's Opinion
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05/07/2015
If there is more that needs to be understood before the problem is solved, then it is the EPA's job to take on that responsibility. The problem does in fact go back to agricultural practices, and that's where the EPA needs to start focusing on. This is a big deal and needs immediate attention.
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Mark's Opinion
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06/02/2015
I will never trust private utilities companies because of their track record on lying, environmental damage, and putting their customers in danger to increase their bonuses; did everyone forget Enron?
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Jen's Opinion
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01/25/2017
We need more environmental clean up and regulations. Not less.
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Argument opposed

Because the conditions causing specific cyanobacteria to release toxins are not well understood, and are connected to other essentials like agriculture — these issues must be understood locally before the government can meaningfully intervene.

ThomasParker's Opinion
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05/23/2015
If the utilities were privately managed and free to compete, we wouldn't need to worry about these sorts of things.
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Erik's Opinion
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05/28/2015
No, the EPA sucks at its job, let the water companies take care of their own problems
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John's Opinion
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06/25/2015
The EPA is unnecessary. Leave these issues to State and Local Government.
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What is House Bill H.R. 212?

Cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, grow rapidly when water is contaminated with phosphorus and nitrogen – common components of agricultural run-off. When an overgrowth of algae released harmful chemicals into Lake Erie in the summer of 2013, over 400,000 residents of Toledo, Ohio lost their main source of water.


In response to the incident, Sponsoring Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) introduced this bill, proposing to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act. If passed, the EPA would have 90 days to develop a plan to manage the risks associated with algal toxins. The EPA would be required to provide a list of algal toxins that present risks to human health, summaries of those effects, and guidelines for monitoring toxins. 


At the end of the 90-day period, the EPA would be expected to submit a report to Congress, including findings and recommendations for removing algal toxins from contaminated drinking water. 



Impact

People whose water supply is susceptible to algal toxins, local and state agencies responsible for responding to contaminated drinking water

Cost of House Bill H.R. 212

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth:

While this bill passed unanimously in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Democratic members called for additional amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act addressing threats posed to drinking water by drought, climate change, and hydraulic fracturing. Republican members blocked these amendments but proposed addressing these concerns through separate legislation.


Media:

Sponsoring Rep. Robert Latta (R-OH) Press Release

Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies

Water Online

The Wall Street Journal - Algal toxins in Toledo, Ohio

American Chemistry Council (In Support) 

(Photo Credit: Flickr user NASA Goddard Photo and Video

AKA

Drinking Water Protection Act

Official Title

To amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to provide for the assessment and management of the risk of algal toxins in drinking water, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • EnactedAugust 7th, 2015
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed August 5th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
  • The house Passed February 24th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 375 Yea / 37 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Environment and Climate Change
    IntroducedJanuary 8th, 2015

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    If there is more that needs to be understood before the problem is solved, then it is the EPA's job to take on that responsibility. The problem does in fact go back to agricultural practices, and that's where the EPA needs to start focusing on. This is a big deal and needs immediate attention.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    If the utilities were privately managed and free to compete, we wouldn't need to worry about these sorts of things.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    I will never trust private utilities companies because of their track record on lying, environmental damage, and putting their customers in danger to increase their bonuses; did everyone forget Enron?
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    We need more environmental clean up and regulations. Not less.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    EPA should be responsible for assisting states in mitigating the causes and presence of algal toxins in drinking water.
    Like (2)
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    As we've seen in places like Flint, we cannot trust our local governments to look out for our children and our families' safety. Federal research must be funded for us to make sure we are out of harms way.
    Like (2)
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    No, the EPA sucks at its job, let the water companies take care of their own problems
    Like (2)
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    The EPA is unnecessary. Leave these issues to State and Local Government.
    Like (1)
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    I feel this is the perfect opportunity for the EPA to prove just how much it should continue to be funded!
    Like (1)
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    A federally funded organization composed of scientists who are dedicated to protecting our waters, investigating the causes of pollution. Not working for profit, therefor not subject to corruption. Why are we fighting about this?
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    Government oversight isn't as bad as it sounds when it comes to the consistency of a vital resource that sustains human life.
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    Drinking water is a thing to be VALUED. Not destroyed.
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    Clean drinking water is a basic necessity for everyone. Since everyone drinks water, it is safe to say that taxpayers should be willing to pay into this service.
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    The EPA is uniquely situated as a federal agency and their regulations would be far reaching. For this reason, we should not simply stop at algae blooms. The Clean Drinking Water Act's list of regulated chemicals hasn't been updated in years and we must start to grapple with the long term impacts of things like xenoestrogens and carcinogenics.
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    Clean water is essential for the safety of the masses.
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    Look at Flint. Do we want more of the same in our cities?
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    Even if they're not greatly understood yet, let's take some more time to understand them, and then movie forward. Generally speaking, this seems like something the EPA should handle.
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    Okay everyone repeat after me. Consistent, uniform and impartial standards in testing and enforcement are necessary to ensure the safety of our natural resources especially things like air and water that keep us alive. State and local agencies, think Flint Michigan, have a financial incentive to 'not find problems' so they don't have FIX them. Hence my on-going concern that Republicans don't really have or aren't capable of 'loving and protecting their children.' Am I being sarcastic? No I'm not. The movie Erin Brockovich was based on a real story.
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    The EPA needs to be dropped from the government. They are out dated and have been used to force government policy on the free enterprise system.
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    Under the Clean Water Act, they have every responsibility to protect Americans from toxic water consumption
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