Last evening the House of Representatives passed a Senate package of bills that included H.R. 6007, the North Texas Zebra Mussel Barrier Act of 2012, sponsored by Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04). The House previously voted to pass the legislation in September, and the Senate passed the bill earlier this week as part of a comprehensive package, S. 3687. This package was approved by unanimous consent in the House last evening.
This legislation permits the North Texas Municipal Water District to pump water from Lake Texoma to the Wylie, Texas Water Treatment Plant, where the water can be cleaned of zebra mussels. An act of Congress was necessary due to a change in the Texas/Oklahoma boundary that would have triggered a violation of the Lacey Act, which prohibits the transfer of an invasive species across state boundaries.
"This is how Congress should work," stated Rep. Hall. "Our local officials and water resources experts brought this issue to my attention, and I introduced this bill along with my colleagues Sam Johnson and Pete Sessions. We were able to move the bill through the Natural Resources Committee and through the House, and worked with Senator John Cornyn to secure passage in the Senate. Passage of this bicameral effort with overwhelming bipartisan support is a testament to the merit of this bill and the work of the local water folks to make the case for this common-sense solution."
The North Texas Municipal Water District will now be able to resume pumping water to the Wylie Water Treatment Plant, where the water will be cleaned of zebra mussels. Some 1.5 million users are served by this water district and will benefit from this water resource.