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Public Statements

Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS -- (Senate - July 19, 2005)

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

By Mr. OBAMA:

S. 1426. A bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to reauthorize and extend provisions relating to contaminant prevention detection, and response; to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Mr. OBAMA. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce the Drinking Water Security Act of 2005.

This bill would reauthorize a portion of the Safe Drinking Water Act, first enacted in 2002, that instructs the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, and the Centers for Disease Control to develop the tools needed by American drinking water systems to detect and respond to the introduction of biological, chemical, and radiological contaminants by terrorists. My bill also would require EPA to report on its progress in developing and implementing these detection and response systems since 2002.

Like most Americans, I want to rise in the morning, make some coffee, and take a shower without worrying if that water has somehow been tampered with overnight by terrorists. Safe drinking water is something we traditionally have taken for granted in this country. This bill will continue the good work our scientists have been doing to monitor, detect, and negate any chemical, biological, or radiological agents that terrorists could introduce into our drinking water, should they manage to get past our physical security measures. This bill would also help implement appropriate warning systems in the event of a terrorist attack on our water systems.

I do not want to be an alarmist. But, September 11 changed Americans' views on the possibility of the improbable and turned our focus to preparedness. This bill is all about preparedness. It provides the authorization and oversight needed to continue to develop those tests and responses so we can stay one step ahead of potential terrorists.

I hope all of my colleagues join me in supporting this commonsense bill and ensuring that our drinking water remains safe.


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