Friday, October 28, 2005

Congressional Committee Authorizes Some Money for EPA's Long Island Sound Program

A Congressional committee authorized five years of additional funding yesterday to continue EPA's Long Island Sound program.

Authorization of money by a committee isn't a huge step -- the entire House still has to authorize it, and then the Senate, and then Congress has to appropriate it -- but presumably this means things are on the right path for a worthwhile program.

The New London Day wrote about it here. Read it and then ask yourself what key piece of information about the authorization you still don't know. (Answer below...)

Finished? OK. How much money was authorized? Oops. I guess the reporter and editors forgot to ask.

In any case, some amount of money was authorized. We'll have to assume it was enough to keep the program going.


Anonymous Bryan Brown said...


The website for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has the answer under "Current News" for October 26

It's short (and I made it shorter):
H.R. 3963, Authorizing The Long Island Sound Program
Introduced in the house by U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT), H.R. 3963 is a bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act) to extend, through fiscal year 2010, the authorization of appropriations for the Long Island Sound program under the Clean Water Act....

...As amended in 2000 by P.L. 106-457, Clean Water Act section 119 authorized, for each of FY 2001-2005, such sums as may be necessary to carry out the Long Island Sound program and $40 million for the EPA to make grants for projects and studies to help implement the Sound’s CCMP. H.R. 3963 reauthorizes these provisions at the same annual funding levels through FY 2010.

The text of the bill itself is even shorter, just a sentence about replacing "2005" with "2010".

According to the committee website, there was other good news on October 26:

"H.R. 1721, a bill to amend the Clean Water Act to reauthorize appropriations for the coastal recreation water quality program under the Clean Water Act, was introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY).

"The Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000 (the BEACH Act) amended the Clean Water Act to require States to update their water quality standards, and EPA to issue new or revised water quality criteria for pathogens and pathogen indicators. The BEACH Act also authorized a new grant program (under section 406) to provide funding for States to develop and implement programs for beach water quality monitoring and notification to the public of exceedances of water quality standards for pathogens in coastal recreation waters.

"The BEACH Act authorized, for each of FY 2001-2005, such sums as are necessary to carry out the Act’s program provisions and $30 million for the EPA to make program development and implementation grants under section 406. H.R. 1721 would extend the same funding levels through FY 2011."

Like you said, these bills still have to get through the House and Senate and be reconciled.

5:21 PM  

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