Monday, May 04, 2009

Water Quality Investment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1262)

The Water Quality Investment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1262) was introduced in the House on 3/3/09 by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar. It amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act [CWA]) to authorize the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make grants to nonprofit organizations to provide: (1) technical assistance to rural and small municipalities for planning, developing, and financing eligible state water pollution control revolving fund projects; and (2) technical assistance and training to enable rural and small publicly owned treatment works and decentralized wastewater systems to protect water quality and comply with the CWA. The bill passed in the House on March 12 on a vote of 317 to 101.

Authorizes annual appropriations for FY2010-FY2014 for: (1) grants to states for administering programs for the prevention, reduction, and elimination of pollution; (2) watershed pilot projects (currently called wet weather watershed pilot projects); (3) grants to states for water pollution control revolving funds; (4) a pilot program for alternative water source projects; (5) sewer overflow control grants; and (6) remediation of sediment contamination in areas of concern in the Great Lakes.

Expands the types of watershed pilot projects eligible for technical assistance and grants. Revises: (1) the eligibility requirements for grants for sewage collection systems; and (2) provisions concerning state water pollution control revolving funds, including by expanding the types of projects eligible for assistance. Requires states to: (1) establish affordability criteria to identify municipalities that would experience a significant hardship raising revenue for state water pollution control revolving fund projects; (2) establish a list of such projects that prioritizes water quality improvement projects for FY2011 and thereafter; and (3) provide financial assistance to only projects on such list.

Prohibits state water pollution control revolving funds from being used for the construction of treatment works unless the steel, iron, and manufactured goods used in such treatment works are produced in the United States.

Revises provisions concerning: (1) state water pollution control revolving fund amounts reserved for Indian tribes; and (2) the use of such amounts.

Changes the tonnage duty (currently, a tax) on specified vessels entering or returning to a U.S. port.

Amends the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System to set forth requirements for notifying the public of sewer overflows.

Amends the Great Lakes Legacy Act of 2002 to authorize appropriations for FY2010-FY2014 for research on the development and use of innovative approaches, technologies, and techniques for the remediation of sediment contamination in U.S. areas of concern. (GovTrack)

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