ASDWA Testifies Before House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy

This morning, ASDWA’s President, Sarah Pillsbury, testified at a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy (a Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee).  This hearing, entitled, “The Role of the States in Protecting the Environment Under Current Law”, was somewhat unusual in that it wasn’t strictly single-issue driven nor associated with a particular piece of proposed legislation.  Rather, it was designed as more of a background briefing for Subcommittee members to help them better understand the role of states.  The other witnesses were from the Environmental Council of the States, the Ground Water Protection Council, the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials, the National League of Cities, and the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

ASDWA’s testimony focused primarily on the role of state drinking water programs in implementing the PWSS program in their respective states (e.g., training, technical assistance, compliance, and enforcement activities).  It also touched briefly on some other topics of interest to the Subcommittee (e.g., security, hydrofracturing, infrastructure, and source water protection).  (Please see attached testimony.)

During the hearing, majority members of the Subcommittee (led by Subcommittee Chairman, Congressman Shimkus [IL]) expressed the view that states know best how to regulate activities within their states and argued for a relatively minimal Federal role (especially, with regard to hydrofracturing).  The minority members (led by ranking member, Congressman Tonko[NY) argued that a minimum set of Federal requirements is needed to ensure that all citizens are adequately protected.  They also felt that the effects of automatic sequestration could be very damaging to states (since much of states’ budgets for administering environmental and public health programs comes through EPA’s budget).

Our thanks to Sarah for representing ASDWA exceeding well at today’s hearing! ASDWA will keep all members posted on any further developments that flow from the hearing.

Attachment — ASDWAs Testimony Before House E & C Subcommittee (2-15-13)