S. 3481: Amending the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify Federal responsibility for stormwater pollution

S. 3481

Amending the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify Federal responsibility for stormwater pollution

Sponsor
Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin

Date
December 23, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

S. 3481 is expected to be considered on the House floor on Wednesday, December 22, 2010, under a suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass.  This legislation was introduced by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) on June 10, 2010.  The Senate approved the bill on December 21, 2010 by unanimous consent.

Bill Summary

S. 3481 would amend the Clean Water Act to provide that reasonable service charges applicable to federal entities for water pollution include the same reasonable fees or assessments for stormwater management applicable to any nongovernmental entity.  The payment or reimbursement of any charge would not be made using funds from any permanent authorization account in the Treasury. 

Under the bill, federal agencies would not be obligated to pay or reimburse any charge except to the extent and in an amount provided in advance by an appropriations Act to pay or reimburse the charge.

Background

Under the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to prepare comprehensive programs for eliminating or reducing the pollution of interstate waters and tributaries and improving the sanitary condition of surface and ground water.  The law currently imposes "reasonable service charges" to any governmental entity responsible for the discharge or runoff of pollutants. The EPA is required to enforce charges in the same manner for a governmental entity as it would for a nongovernmental entity.  The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act imposed standards regarding new federal building projects and major renovations to limit the amount of stormwater runoff.  These provisions did not impose penalties for noncompliance.

Cost

As of press time, CBO had not released a score of this legislation.