Obama Amendment Provides $37.5 Million to Safeguard Drinking Water from Terrorist Attacks
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) Tuesday passed a provision to provide $37.5 million over the next five years to protect our nation's drinking water from a terrorist attack. The amendment was included as part of the reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which passed unanimously in the Environment and Public Works Committee today.
"Like most Americans, I never want to worry about whether the glass of water my child is drinking has been tampered with by terrorists," said Obama. "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."
Obama's amendment would reauthorize a portion of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which was enacted in 2002 and set to expire this year, that instructs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control to develop the tools needed by drinking water systems to detect and respond to the introduction of biological, chemical, and radiological contaminants by terrorists. The legislation would also require the EPA to report on its progress in developing and implementing these detection and response systems since 2002.
"September 11th changed American's views on the possibility of the improbable and turned our focus to preparedness," said Obama. "This amendment is all about preparedness. It provides the oversight needed to continue to develop the necessary tests and responses so we can stay one step ahead of potential terrorists."
Senator Obama is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.