Yesterday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed, by voice vote, the Sewage Overflow Right to Know Act (S. 2080). Thank you for all the calls that you’ve made to your Senators over the last year encouraging them to sponsor the bill and raising the awareness of the problem of sewage overflows. Your actions helped make sure that Congress placed a priority on protecting the public from dangerous sewer overflows by advancing this bill.
Here’s how it all went down:
Sen. Lautenberg offered an amendment to his bill to sync the language of the Senate bill with the House passed version of the bill. The committee voted to accept his amendment. Sen. Inhofe filed amendments with the committee on Tuesday that would’ve weakened the bill, and we were prepared to fight them. However, Sen. Inhofe was not present in the meeting to offer them when the bill was brought up by the Chair. Crisis averted and the bill passed by voice vote (no recorded vote). It is also worth noting that both Senators Hilary Clinton and Kit Bond made brief statements in support of the bill. Additionally, we found out during the Committee that EPW Chair, Senator Boxer had also signed on as a cosponsor.
If you are constituent of the following senators please take a few minutes to pass along your thanks to them for their support of S. 2080.
Chairwoman Barbara Boxer
Sen. Max Baucus (MT)
Sen. Tom Carper (DE)
Sen. Joe Lieberman (CT - wasn’t present for vote but staff informed AR of his support)
Sen. Hilary Clinton (NY)
Sen. Ben Cardin (MD)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
Sen. Kit Bond (MO)
And of course Sen. Lautenberg (NJ) for his tremendous leadership in making sure that this bill continues to move forward.
Next stop - the Senate Floor. We don’t anticipate a floor fight. In fact we are hoping that the bill passes with unanimous consent and without much debate or fanfare. On that note, we don’t wish to draw any attention to the bill. Our strategy may change if the lay of the land changes but for now please hold back on calling Senators not already on this list to support the bill. How’s that for an action to take! I will of course be back in touch when the full senate takes up the bill.
We are now in the final stretch towards better protecting everyone from sewage spills and your involvement in this campaign is largely responsible for our success.
Thanks, as always, for your continued support.