The U.S. Senate confirmed Radhika Fox, former US Water Alliance CEO, as EPA Office of Water Assistant Administrator during a confirmation hearing May 12. With the confirmation, Fox became the first woman of color and first individual of Asian heritage to be both nominated and confirmed to lead the EPA Office of Water. Fox has been appointed to the Office of Water after President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January. Since that time, she has spearheaded a roundtable discussion with utility leaders in water and wastewater for feedback on the American Jobs Plan, Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, and has lead the office as the EPA delayed the Lead & Copper Rule Revision effective date and published the Unregulated Contaminants Monitoring Rule 5, which targets per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
A Senate committee unanimously approved a bill Thursday to create Utah’s Colorado River Authority, which would be tasked with helping the state renegotiate its share of the river.
Originally the bill allowed broad reasons to close meetings and protect records. It’s since been changed twice to come more into compliance with the state’s open meeting and record laws. Critics of the bill said it’s still not enough.
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved several bills yesterday to address tribal energy, land and water resources. Lawmakers approved Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Minnesota Democratic Sen. Tina Smith’s S. 2610 to reauthorize and reform the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs within the Department of Energy.
Each of the differing $740-billion defense authorization bills that the House and Senate passed during the week of July 20 includes several provisions that would address pollution caused by per- and polyfluoralkyl substances at Dept.of Defense facilities. But neither would classify the chemicals as hazardous materials eligible for Superfund cleanup.
Senate Democrats want to know whether being exposed to PFAS chemicals, which have become ubiquitous in the environment, worsens the effect of the coronavirus on the human body.
The U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has approved H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. The legislative package would provide $1.5 trillion for the nation’s infrastructure needs. Included in the bill is funding for Central Valley water needs and Friant-Kern Canal repairs.
The package is expected to be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives next week. The package would then need to be passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Trump.
The Senate has approved a bipartisan bill that would spend nearly $3 billion on conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks and other public lands, a measure supporters say would be the most significant conservation legislation enacted in nearly half a century.
The Senate on Thursday moved to advance a bill that would permanently fund the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund while the House introduced a companion bill.
The Senate’s environment panel pushed through two major water infrastructure bills Wednesday, rejecting a GOP member’s attempt to give Western states more authority over water supplies but agreeing to direct the EPA to set drinking water limits for “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.
Two bipartisan draft water infrastructure bills unveiled this week by the Senate environment committee are a good start but will need even more funding in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, water agencies and other groups said Wednesday.