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Senate Passes Cornyn Measure Easing Access to Drinking Water Blocked by Zebra Mussels in Lake Texoma

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after the Senate passed the North Texas Zebra Mussel Barrier Act of 2012, removing a bureaucratic barrier preventing local water districts from transporting drinking water out of Lake Texoma:

"This bill will allow the Texoma Water Pump to reopen and provide water to the more than 1.5 million people served by the North Texas Municipal Water District and Greater Texoma Utility Authority. It's a commonsense piece of legislation that helps Texans."

In December 2010, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) learned that a mistake in identifying the border between Texas and Oklahoma caused the Texoma Water Pump, previously standing solely within Texas, to straddle the state line. Due to the Lacey Act, which prohibits interstate transport of invasive species, like zebra mussels, the pumping of water from Lake Texoma was voluntarily suspended. This bill grants an exemption to the Act to allow the Texoma Water Pump to resume operating, while also removing zebra mussels to prevent contamination. This larger bill containing the North Texas Zebra Mussel Barrier Act will now move to the House of Representatives where companion legislation sponsored by Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-4) passed unanimously earlier this year.

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