WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, introduced the Water Security Act of 2007 (S. 1968) on August 2, 2007. The bill, which expands on Senator Inhofe’s previously introduced and passed legislation, would authorize a total of $245 million in Environmental Protection Agency grants to help mitigate the expense of security enhancements at drinking water and wastewater facilities. The legislation passed the EPW Committee by a voice vote in 2006.
“Security at our nation’s water and wastewater utilities is of great national importance,” Senator Inhofe said. “Drinking water systems have all completed vulnerability assessments in accordance with the bioterrorism law passed by Congress. Those wastewater facilities that have not completed can receive funds to do so. My bill would then make facilities that have completed assessments eligible for grants to meet the needs that they identified in those assessments. Additionally, this bill would devote the much needed research funds to developing secure collection systems of wastewater treatment systems and the distribution systems of drinking water systems.
“My bill takes a comprehensive look at these facilities and entrusts the local governments who operate them to make security decisions based on the needs of their communities and their individual circumstances. As a former mayor, I understand the importance of creating proactive local solutions instead of imposing federal mandates that do not meet the needs of constituents.”
Background on Water Security Act of 2007:
GAO reports have identified securing the collection systems of wastewater treatment systems and the distribution systems of drinking water systems as the most vulnerable areas and the areas most in need of federal funds.
WASTEWATER FACILITIES: Experts’ Views on How Federal Funds Should Be Spent to Improve Security – January 2005 (LINK)
DRINKING WATER: Experts’ Views on How Future Federal Funding Can Best Be Spent to Improve Security – October 2003 (LINK)