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Congressional Hearing on Harmful Algal Blooms in Drinking Water Scheduled for Wednesday

Washington, November 17, 2014 | Sarah Criser (202-225-6405)

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), member of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, will participate in a hearing focused on cyanotoxins in drinking water on Wednesday, November 19, at 10:15 a.m. in Washington, D.C. Latta has worked closely with the Subcommittee’s Chairman, Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL), to ensure a hearing on this important issue.

Given the water emergency that occurred in Toledo in August, this week’s hearing will explore the current circumstances surrounding algae and cyanotoxins, as well as the availability of technology to test and monitor for these potentially harmful contaminants. The Committee sent a letter last month to the Environmental Protection Agency seeking additional information about this threat to drinking water supplies and the agency’s plans to address it.

Witnesses at the hearing, entitled “Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water,” will include Director of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water at the U.S. EPA, Peter Grevatt, Director of the Ohio EPA, Craig Butler, and John Donahue testifying on behalf of the American Water Works Association. 

The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, witness testimony and a live feed of the hearing will be available here as they are posted.

This hearing is a continuation of Congressman Latta’s efforts to address the algal blooms issues in the Great Lakes, especially Lake Erie. In September, he introduced H.R. 5516, the Protecting Our Great Lakes Act, to prevent the discharge of dredged material in the open waters of the Great Lakes. He also met with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to discuss long-term substantive solutions that can be implemented to ensure our drinking water is safe. In addition, he introduced H.R. 5456, the Great Lakes & Fresh Water Algal Blooms Information Act, bipartisan legislation to examine the causes and current mitigation efforts of algal blooms in the Great Lakes, their tributaries and surface fresh waters. Finally, he also introduced H.R. 3862, the Clean Water Affordability Act, in January to assist municipalities in more affordably managing their wastewater infrastructure projects. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee also held a hearing to discuss this legislation in July. 


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