WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Brian Mast (FL-18) and Angie Craig (MN-2) today introduced the Local Water Protection Act, a bipartisan bill to reduce water pollution in communities across the United States. 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.

“Nobody should lack access to clean and safe water, but sadly, that’s the reality for far too many communities in our country. 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 be allowed to go by where the federal government allows Americans to be poisoned through the water they drink, bathe or swim in.”

“Minnesota’s lakes and waterways are critical not only for tourism and transporting agricultural goods, but also to the natural beauty of our state that we’re so proud of,” Rep. Craig said. “I appreciate Representative Mast’s continued partnership on the bipartisan Local Water Protection Act to help us renew and increase the funding to keep our waters clean and safe for generations to come.”

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.

Companion legislation is led in the U.S. Senate by Senators Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Marco Rubio (FL).