LoBiondo Honored by Environmental Groups for Right-To-Know Legislation
Earlier this Year, Congressman Introduced Legislation to Mandate Public Notification of Raw Sewage Overflows in Nearby Waters
At a Capitol Hill ceremony this week, U.S. Representative Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) was honored by American Rivers - the national organization which advocates for healthy rivers - for introducing H.R. 2452, the "Raw Sewage Overflow Community Right-to-Know Act of 2007." LoBiondo and Representative Tim Bishop (NY-01) introduced the legislation in May 2007.
"Protecting the public's health and safety is the single most important function that government at any level must do. The public has a right to be notified about potential hazards in their swimming and drinking water," said LoBiondo. "The legislation introduced by Representative Bishop and myself is a common-sense practice that should be enacted in all communities across the country."
"People come from all over the world to visit Congressman LoBiondo's district, to see Atlantic City and Cape May," said Rebecca Wodder, president of American Rivers. "The health of his constituents and the economy of his district both have a real stake in his legislation, which will help Americans across the country answer the important question, 'What's in your water?'"
The "Raw Sewage Overflow Community Right-to-Know Act of 2007" would require sewage plant operators to:
Ø Monitor their treatment works for sewage overflows using a management program or technology that will alert them of sewer overflows in a timely manner;
Ø Notify public health officials, the general public and other affected downstream entities including drinking water suppliers of any sewer overflows that endanger human health; and,
Ø Report to the state or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on all sewer overflows within 24 hours of becoming aware of the overflow and follow-up with a written report explaining the duration and volume of the overflow and steps taken to mitigate the overflow and prevent recurrence.
Additionally, under this legislation, sewage plant operators would be eligible for existing federal grants to assist in the installation of monitoring technology.
Hackensack Riverkeeper Bill Sheehan and Program Director Hugh Carola traveled to Capitol Hill earlier this week to present the award to LoBiondo. "It was an honor to do so and we presented Congressman LoBiondo with his award on behalf of American Rivers, the constituents of the Second District and in the name of the American people," said Carola.
Currently, LoBiondo and Bishop's bipartisan legislation has 37 co-sponsors in the House. Last week, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a companion bill to the "Raw Sewage Overflow Community Right-to-Know Act" in the Senate.