Thursday, August 7, 2014

S 1961 Reported in Senate – Drinking Water Protection Bill -

On the last effective day of the Senate session before the summer recess, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee finally published their report on S 1961, the Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act of 2014. There is nothing really new in the report that I did not report in my earlier post on the results of the markup hearing.

When the Senate returns to Washington in September, it is now remotely possible that the bill could be brought to the floor for consideration. In the lead up to the mid-term elections and with spending bills (or most likely a continuing resolution) still to be considered it is unlikely that this bill will be brought to the floor. Even though the bill had some bipartisan support in Committee (only two Republicans voting no with no demand for a recorded vote) I don’t think that there was enough support to overcome the bipartisan bickering that only increases the closer we get to election day.

Rep. Capito’s (R,WV) similar bill in the House, HR 4024, has yet to be considered in committee, so I think we can safely assume that there is no plan to consider that bill or the Senate alternative during this session. This legislation appears to be effectively dead for this session, unless of course there is another water treatment facility similarly affected by an industrial chemical spill.

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