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Clean water bill sent back to Reagan.

Clean water bill sent back to Reagan

Though the House and Senate unanimouslypassed a $20 billion bill to re-authorize the Clean Water Act in the closing hours of the 99th Congress (SN: 10/25/86, p. 264), the long-awaited legislation died from a pocket veto by the President. On the first day of the 100th Congress, however, it was born again as HR-1, the first bill introduced in the House. Following swift passage by both the House and Senate, the Clean Water bill was back on President Reagan's desk by Jan. 21. Congressional support for the bill is so strong that its passage into law--if necessary, by a veto override--is all but assured.

The bill would commit $18 billion overnine years to new sewage treatment plants -- far more than the $12 billion called for in the President's alternative bill. It also provides money to begin a program to control "nonpoint" pollution, which runs off nonindustrial lands such as farms, city streets and construction sites; to help clean lakes and major estuaries; and to enable the Environmental Protection Agency and the states to further restrict allowable pollutant discharges where several heavy industrial polluters already reside.

The clean water program stagnated forfour years while Congress formulated the controversial measures embodied in the new bill, according to Sharon Newsome of the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, D.C. She says, "Now it's up to President Reagan to reinvigorate the program by signing the legislation before him." Adds Sen. Robert W. Kasten (R-Wis.), "If the President doesn't approve this, not only will his veto be soundly overriden, but he will have been saddled with a major political defeat in his first skirmish with the 100th Congress."
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Author:Raloff, Janet
Publication:Science News
Date:Jan 31, 1987
Words:282
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