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                           Water Quality
U.S. Green Chamber Advocating For... Water Quality
Water Quality

WHAT
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “water quality describes the condition of the water, including chemical, physical, and biological characteristics, usually with respect to its suitability for a particular purpose such as drinking or swimming.”1 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops the national standards for drinking water, although state agencies are primarily responsible for enforcement of these standards. Additionally, these scientific measurements cannot easily delegate what kind of water is “good” or “bad.” Therefore, within these regulations there are two classifications: primary and secondary attributes, which deal with the purpose of the water. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “changing climate patterns are threatening lakes and rivers, and key sources that we tap for drinking water are being overdrawn or tainted witH pollution.”2 Now, more than ever, is a time to take action in preventing further water contamination.


WHY

Not only does poor water quality threaten human health and stability, but it also poses great risks for ecosystems. Clean water is the key to a thriving and sustainable community. However, “when water from rain and melting snow runs off roofs or roads and into our rivers, it picks up toxic chemicals, dirt, trash and disease-carrying organisms along the way. Many of our water resources also lack basic protections, making them vulnerable to pollution from factory farms, industrial plants, and activities like fracking.”2 All of these seemingly random factors can contribute to water pollution and thus pose health risks to our populations. On the home front, people can help prevent the degradation of water by “supporting and participating in advanced wastewater treatment programs that remove unwanted nutrients and harmful bacteria, using ‘pump-out’ stations for your vessel’s sanitation device, using as many ‘green’ products as possible at home, and reducing or eliminating the use of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.”1

HOW 

These particular items are not endorsed or promoted by the US Green Chamber of Commerce. These are used for informational purposes. (as of Feb 17, 2016)

• H.R. 2689 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr2689)

“Defines "water resources project" and "water resources development project" to include water supply and environmental infrastructure projects, including projects designed to reclaim or reuse municipal wastewater or impaired surface or groundwater, for purposes of specified provisions of: (1) the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 concerning feasibility studies and feasibility reports for water resources projects, and (2) the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 concerning the annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development.”

• Water Efficiency Innovation Act of 2015 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1485)

“A bill to provide for the advancement of energy-water efficiency research, development, and deployment activities.”

• Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1424)

“A bill to prohibit the sale or distribution of cosmetics containing synthetic plastic microbeads.”

• S. 2532 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s2532)

“To authorize appropriations for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.”

• Clean Water Compliance and Affordability Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s2358)

“A bill to direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out a pilot program to work with municipalities that are seeking to develop and implement integrated plans to meet wastewater and stormwater obligations under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and for other purposes.”

• Drinking Water Protection Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr212)

“To amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to provide for the assessment and management of the risk of algal toxins in drinking water, and for other purposes.”

• Clean Water for Rural Communities Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1552)

“A bill to authorize the Dry-Redwater Regional Water Authority System and the Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System in the State of Montana, and for other purposes.”

• Water Rights Protection Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr1830)

“To prohibit the conditioning of any permit, lease, or other use agreement on the transfer of any water right to the United States by the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture, and to require the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to develop water planning instruments consistent with State law.”

• Federal Water Quality Protection Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1140)

“This is legislation that would direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers to revise its definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) to take into account the limits of the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction — as established by court decisions — and the impact on small businesses and state and local governments.”

• Save Our Water Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr1668)

“To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide for suspension of application of the Act to water releases by Federal and State agencies in river basins that are affected by drought, and for other purposes.”

References

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). "Water Quality Describes the Condition of the Water, including Chemical, Physical, and Biological Characteristics, Usually with Respect to Its Suitability for a Particular Purpose Such as Drinking or Swimming." What Is Water Quality? Accessed February 29, 2016. http://floridakeys.noaa.gov/ocean/waterquality.html.  National Resources Defense Council. "Water." Pollution Facts, Effects of Pollution, Clean Act. Accessed February 29, 2016. http://www.nrdc.org/water/.

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