Amendments Follow Bill to Require Emergency Relief Wells
Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-8) wants to mandate extensive research on the dangers of the cleanup efforts along the Gulf Coast. He introduced and guided two amendments through the Science and Technology Committee successfully yesterday.
Congressman Grayson said, "The cleanup will take years, and thousands of workers will be exposed. We cannot wait to find out what risks the workers face. We need to know specifics about the actual effects of the spill on the people assigned to clean it up. We do not want to create, and cannot afford, an entire class of workers with significant health problems for the next 50 years."
The Congressman's first amendment mandates research on technologies, methods, and standards for protecting the personnel and volunteers who will remove the oil from the water and the shoreline. The research will focus on proper training, adequate supervision, protective equipment, maximum exposure limits and decontamination procedures.
Congressman Grayson teamed with Rep. Kathleen Dahlkemper (D-Pa.) on the second amendment. The Dahlkemper-Grayson Amendment requires air quality tests both onshore and offshore. The results of the tests will be made available to the public, as well as the cleanup workers.
Both amendments passed the Science and Technology Committee on a bipartisan, unanimous voice vote. They are part of The Oil Pollution Research and Development Program Reauthorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 2693), which passed the committee yesterday. The legislation will be voted on by the full House next week.
Congressman Grayson also introduced his Emergency Relief Well Act (H.R. 5666) recently. It requires that an emergency relief well be drilled at the same time as any new exploratory well. Congressman Grayson teamed up with Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) on this legislation, which is identical to Lautenberg's Senate bill. You can read the text of H.R. 5666 here.