Wednesday, July 18, 2007

River Policy Update Online Now

Read the American Rivers River Policy Update for the week of July 16, 2007.

Two items of interest:

3) House to vote on Energy and Water Spending

This week the House is scheduled to vote on the $31.6 billion spending bill for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of Energy (DOE). The House bill is an increase over the Administration’s request of $30.5 billion and last year’s budget of $30.3 billion. Under the legislation DOE would receive $25.24 billion, an increase of $1.15 billion over last year and $480 million above the President’s request. This includes increases in funding for climate change research and clean energy. The Corps would receive $5.58 billion under the House bill, $246 million above last year and $713.4 million above the Administration’s request. The Corps budget includes funding for construction of water projects and operation and maintenance of existing structures. Finally, the Bureau of Reclamation and Central Utah Project of the Department of Interior would receive $1.073 billion for dams, canals, water treatment and conservation, and rural water projects under the House bill. Also included in the package is $1.1 billion worth of Member earmark projects.

5) Act Now for Your Right-to-Know

When it comes to sewage pollution, what you don’t know can hurt you. Every year, more than 850 billion gallons of raw or partially-treated sewage is dumped into the waters where we fish, swim and play. As a result, millions of people become ill each year from unnecessary contact with disease causing pathogens found in sewage.

Astonishingly, there is no nationwide requirement for sewage treatment plants to notify the public when these sewage spills and overflows occur, placing people and their families at risk. Knowledge is a powerful first line of defense, and we all deserve to know when our favorite streams and rivers are unfit for playing and paddling.

You can help fix this problem by asking Congress to pass legislation that requires plant operators to notify the public of sewage spills and overflows. Urge your Representative to cosponsor the Raw Sewage Overflow Community Right to Know Act today.

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