WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Representatives Brian Mast (FL-18) and Angie Craig’s (MN-2) Local Water Protection Act passed out of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee today.  The bipartisan effort to reduce harmful water pollution increases grant funding for state and local governments to decrease water pollutants, including addressing toxic agricultural runoff, septic to sewer conversions, legacy pollutants, impacts from dams, effects of channelization of water bodies and other forms of pollution.

“This bipartisan bill will increase federal support to address pollution from agricultural runoff, assist with septic to sewer conversions and prevent other forms of pollution,” Rep. Mast said. “Not another day should go by where the federal government allows Americans to be poisoned through the water they drink, bathe or swim in.”

“Our lakes and waterways are critical to Minnesota’s economy and the pride we all hold in the natural beauty of our state,” Rep. Craig said. “I appreciate Representative Mast’s continued partnership on the bipartisan Local Water Protection Act to help us renew and increase funding to keep our waters clean and safe for generations to come, and I am proud to see this important legislation moving forward.”

The Local Water Protection Act would reauthorize and increase funding to $200 million per year for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant program that provides funds for states to develop and implement programs for managing nonpoint source water pollution or pollution from diffuse sources, including runoff from farms, managed forests and urban areas.

The Section 319 Grant Program has funded hundreds of programs in Florida alone since its creation in 1987, including McCarty Ranch in St. Lucie County, Willoughby Creek in Martin County and the C-43 Reservoir in Hendry County. A full list can be found here.

The next step is for the bill to be voted on by the full House of Representatives.  Companion legislation is led in the U.S. Senate by Senators Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Marco Rubio (FL).