CONFERENCE REPORT ON S. 1316, SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1996
(House of Representatives - August 02, 1996)

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[Pages H9862-H9877]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  CONFERENCE REPORT ON S. 1316, SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT AMENDMENTS OF 
                                  1996

  Mr. McINNIS. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I 
call up House Resolution 507 and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

[[Page H9863]]

                              H. Res. 507

       Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be 
     in order to consider the conference report to accompany the 
     bill (S. 1316) to reauthorize and amend title XIV of the 
     Public Health Service Act (commonly known as the ``Safe 
     Drinking Water Act''), and for other purposes. All points of 
     order against the conference report and against its 
     consideration are waived. The conference report shall be 
     considered as read.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaTourette). The gentleman from Colorado 
[Mr. McInnis] is recognized for 1 hour.
  Mr. McINNIS. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the 
customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Moakley] 
pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During the 
consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose 
of debate only.
  Mr. Speaker, House Resolution 507 is a simple resolution. The 
proposed rule merely provides that it shall be in order to consider the 
conference report to accompany S. 1316, a bill to reauthorize and amend 
the Safe Drinking Water Act. Additionally, this rule waives all points 
of order against the conference report and against its consideration.
  Mr. Speaker, with the passage of the conference report on S. 1316 we 
can look the American people in the eye and say, we have come up with a 
good program that is going to protect the water supply for America. 
This is a good day's work.
  The American people have called for a smaller, less costly, less 
intrusive government, and we have heard their calls. However, we are 
continuing our responsibilities of protecting the air we breathe and 
the water we drink. This measure, The Safe Drinking Water Act, provides 
this protection.
  Mr. Speaker, House Resolution 507 is straightforward, and it was 
reported by the Committee on Rules by unanimous voice vote. I urge my 
colleagues to support House Resolution 507 as well as the underlying 
conference report.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MOAKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, 
and I thank my dear friend and colleague, the gentleman from Colorado 
[Mr. McInnis], for yielding me the customary half-hour.
  Mr. Speaker, I support this rule and I essentially support this bill.
  Today's Safe Drinking Water Act is a sound improvement to our 
national drinking water laws. Those laws were enacted many years ago to 
help make our drinking water supply safe.
  Although you wouldn't know it, Mr. Speaker, given what's coming out 
of the faucets in Washington, DC, these days, the safe drinking water 
regulations are a very important part of everyday life in this country.
  This bill requires water systems to notify their customers annually 
of the contaminants found in their tap water. It helps small public 
water systems comply with national standards.
  On the whole it's a good bill and we should pass it.
  Unfortunately, the process by which this bill has come to the floor 
has been one more example of how my Republican colleagues are having 
trouble running Congress in an efficient and bi-partisan way.
  For example, Mr. Speaker, the authority to spend the money needed for 
this bill ran out 2 days ago.
  That means that $725 million that could have gone toward making 
drinking water systems safe all across the country is lost.
  Even though the bill passed the House on June 25, the Republican 
leadership waited 22 days before appointing conferees.
  That's right Mr. Speaker, the water systems for American cities and 
towns will be $725 million poorer because my Republican colleagues 
didn't finish their work on time.
  For example, because of Republican carelessness, my home State of 
Massachusetts has lost over $7.9 million in funds to rehabilitate aging 
and dangerous drinking water systems.
  And the 3\1/2\ million residents of my colleague's home State of 
Colorado have lost almost $9.3 million.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a disgrace.
  And, to add insult to injury, the grant program in this bill is 
loaded down with 24 earmarked pork projects.
  Those extravagant pork projects will take much needed money away from 
the State revolving fund.
  It's going to take $8 billion to do all we need to do to fix our 
Nation's drinking water problems. We ought to get our priorities 
straight.
  I urge my Republican colleagues to get their work done sooner because 
it's 1996 and American citizens should have no doubts whatsoever about 
how safe and clean their water is.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGINNIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, 
and I remind all my colleagues that this bill came out of the committee 
unanimous. It has the support of the gentleman from Massacuhsetts [Mr. 
Moakley].
  This is what our debate is about here on the rule, and this is one of 
those few times where I think everybody in the Chamber is in agreement 
on the rule, so I see no further need to have speakers.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MOAKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. McINNIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time and I 
move the previous question on the resolution.
  The previous question was ordered.
  The resolution was agreed to.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the House Resolution 507, I call 
up the conference report on the bill (S. 1316) waiving points of order 
against the conference report to accompany the bill (S. 1316) to 
reauthorize and amend title XIV of the Public Health Service Act, 
commonly known as the Safe Drinking Water Act, and for other purposes.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 507, the 
conference report is considered as having been read.
  (For conference report and statement, see proceedings of the House of 
August 1, 1996, at page H9679).
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Virginia [Mr. Bliley] and 
the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Dingell] will each be recognized for 
30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia [Mr. Bliley].
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  (Mr. BLILEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, 1 week ago today I convened the first 
meeting of the conference committee on this proposal, the Safe Drinking 
Water Act Amendments of 1996.
  I noted at that time that we had a big job to do and just a short 
time to do it. We had two bills that, while similar in significant 
respects, also contained serious differences. As we all know, we had 
just a small amount of time in which to accomplish our task.
  I also noted that, on that occasion, the tremendous principles of 
both the House and the Senate in developing this legislation. First and 
foremost, this measure assures each of us, and our children, cleaner, 
safer, purer drinking water. It represents commonsense environmentalism 
rather than the rigid, inflexible mandates of prior law.
  This measure, instead, promotes flexibility. It empowers States and 
local water authorities to focus their resources on those contaminants 
that pose the greatest risks. For the first time ever, it gives those 
same States and local water authorities the flexibility they need to 
get the job done.
  I was privileged earlier in my life to serve as mayor of the city of 
Richmond. I have spoken with mayors about this measure and also to the 
Governors and to local water officials.

                              {time}  1200

  They tell me this bill is a godsend. According to the Congressional 
Budget Office, this conference agreement will ``change the Federal 
drinking water program in ways that would lower the costs to public 
water systems of complying with existing and future requirements.''
  We authorize $7.6 billion to the States to help public water systems 
comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act and for helping local water 
authorities solve the problem of source water pollution. That is on top 
of $100

[[Page H9864]]

million for States to administer their own safe drinking water programs 
and $80 million for new studies that tell us more about the health 
effects of arsenic, radon and cryptosporidium, and how best we can 
treat them.
  Here in the District of Columbia we have seen in the last few weeks 
why this legislation is so important. Here, in the Capital of the 
richest, the strongest, the most technologically advanced Nation in the 
history of the world, people cannot trust the water that they drink. 
The water mains, hundreds of miles of them, are literally rotting away 
underneath us. This legislation helps fix the problem, not just here in 
the District of Columbia, but in cities and small towns from coast to 
coast.
  But that still is not all this measure does. That is because, once 
this measure is signed into law, Americans will know more about the 
water that they drink than ever before. We provide for 24-hour 
notifications of violation. Today they have up to 2 weeks. We provide 
for community right-to-know, a detailed summary provided to every 
household telling them what is in the water that they drink.
  Yes, this is fine legislation, legislation that reflects the kind of 
bipartisan spirit of compromise that me have always tried to foster on 
the Committee on Commerce. I said so at the conference, as others did, 
but I said something else too. I noted then that this measure has 
passed the Senate by a vote of 99 to nothing. I noted that it cleared 
the House unanimously as well, passed by voice vote, and I predicted 
that none of us, Democrat or Republican, House or Senate, would easily 
explain to the folks back home why such a good measure, a measure that 
cleared both houses unanimously, should be sacrificed because we could 
not resolve the details. The past week we have endeavored to do just 
that, to put our difference aside and reach common ground, and in the 
week just past we did just that.
  I am proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder with my Committee on 
Commerce colleagues, Democrat and Republican alike, to defend the 
integrity of the Committee on Commerce bill. We succeeded. The measure 
before us reflects in virtually every respect that provisions that were 
approved unanimously in the Committee on Commerce.
  In virtually every respect, this measure echoes the provisions that 
were developed in large measure because of the contributions of my good 
friend, the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Dingell], and my good friend, 
the gentleman from California [Mr. Waxman]. That is why I regret that 
they have chosen not to sign the conference report.
  Nonetheless, I submit that they will agree with me that even those 
minor changes that have been adopted in conference actually have 
improved the bill. Their argument does not focus on the core of the 
bill, which they themselves worked on. Their argument is with the 
provisions not within our jurisdiction, provisions incidentally that 
were approved by this House by unanimous vote. I submit to my friends 
on the other side respectfully that they should not let perfection be 
the enemy of the good.
  This legislation, my colleagues, is very, very good for the American 
people. Together with the food safety measure now on the President's 
desk, it will give this Congress two major pieces of environmental 
legislation of which we can be proud. Indeed, it will give Bill Clinton 
the first environmental accomplishments of his presidency.
  Let us put the interest of the American people ahead of our own 
differences. This measure is long overdue. Let us pass it today.
  I am very pleased also to congratulate the other body, Senator 
Chafee, Senator Kempthorne and, in particular, my own colleague, the 
senior Senator from Virginia, John Warner, whose help was very 
instrumental in bringing us where we are today.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 6 minutes.
  (Mr. DINGELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, this conference cane up a day late and $725 
million short. The old saying is, ``A day late and a penny short.'' We 
are $725 million short and 2 days late. However, the $725 million that 
should have gone for paying for safe drinking water for this Nation's 
community water systems somehow got misplaced on the way to the floor 
with this bill.
  That is $725 million that should have been there to help the States 
pay for what are now unfunded mandates created by this bill. It should 
have gone for community water systems to pay for filtration and 
disinfection plants. It should have funded a part of the grant to the 
District of Columbia to restore the decrepit and unsafe water system of 
this Nation's Capital.
  What happened? That is the interesting story.
  Well, it is a tale of speed, and it is a tale of greed. The speed, or 
should I say the lack of it, and both occurred at unfortunate times, 
with which the House leadership appointed the conferees made it 
virtually impossible for the conference to complete its work in time to 
secure the $725 million that was set aside to make the drinking water 
of this Nation safe.
  Let me explain further. The House has known since April that the 1996 
appropriation for EPA included $725 million, which would be immediately 
available for a new safe drinking water revolving loan fund, if the act 
was authorized by July 31.
  Under the leadership of my distinguished friend, and I want to pay 
tribute to him, the gentleman from Virginia, the chairman of the 
Committee on Commerce, the House passed without a dissenting vote a 
strong, bipartisan safe drinking water bill on June 25. That left us a 
total of 35 days to reconcile a Senate measure that passed that body, 
noted for its slow movement last year.
  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure added to the House 
bill at the last minute some noteworthy porcine provisions, with the 
blessing of the leadership. Then, whether due to inattention or the 
intervention of the Speaker, the conferees on this bill were not 
appointed until the week the bill passed, the next week or even the 
next week. In fact, it took 22 days to appoint conferees. Worse, when 
the conferees were appointed, the leadership added layers of complexity 
by appointing from three committees. The Committee on Science latched 
on to a variety of provisions, but their success pales in comparison to 
their brethren at the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure desperately wanted 
their no-priority, high-waste, who-cares-about-State-needs, election-
year, bringing-home-the-bacon, name-the-project-after-me, no shame pork 
fund.
  Their insatiable appetite did face one hurdle. The bill included 
firewall provisions that provided they could not have their luau unless 
and until the state drinking water revolving fund was capitalized at 75 
percent of its appropriation, or $750 million.
  Now, because I have dealt with the appetites of the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure before, as have most of my 
colleagues, we made a motion to instruct to make sure that the House 
conferees would not forget this explicit commitment in the House-passed 
bill. That passed unanimously through this body.
  But guess what? In the closing days of the conference, with the 
deadline staring us in the face, the conferees from the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure announced that they would not allow 
the conference report to be filed unless and until the firewall was 
removed.
  In fact, at many points, the Senate offered to recede to the House on 
these provisions, but the conferees on the part of the House; namely, 
the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, constantly and 
consistently refused. The Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure would not accept their own provisions unless and until 
the firewall was removed.
  So yesterday, the Speaker gave in to their raid on the Treasury, and 
the 75 percent trigger was removed to create a $175 million fund. Not 
surprisingly, and in complete disregard for the numerous claims made by 
the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure porkmeisters during 
the debate on my motion to instruct, the statement of

[[Page H9865]]

managers quite without shame earmarks the money for 24 projects, many 
of which are in freshman and marginal Republican districts. Since there 
is only one pot of money available for safe drinking water, the gain of 
my pork-loving colleagues comes at the expense of the safe drinking 
water revolving fund.
  I would like my colleagues to know that this raid and this wonderful 
pork is going to cost everybody except those Members who have been able 
to dip their hands into this fund to come up with a wonderful little 
helping of pork for their district, and it is going to come up without 
any regard to the need of the public or to the questions of public 
health and safety. It is simply going to be a short-stopping of funds, 
a plundering of a fund which is inadequate to meet the total needs and 
a fund which is absolutely necessary to assure the safety of the people 
from unsafe, unhealthy and dangerous drinking water.

  That is what is at issue. This is why it will be impossible for me to 
support what had been a sound and fair piece of legislation, which is 
now converted into pure pork for the benefit of a few people who are 
happily situated.
  Now, I want to make it plain that I think that taking care of 
districts is a good thing. I think that getting necessary projects to 
better the country is good. But I do not think that this kind of raid 
falls even within that category. It lies simply in the area of seeking 
special presents at the expense of all, and we will be submitting to my 
colleagues a list of how your State, my colleagues, will be adversely 
impacted by the events that have transpired previous to the bringing of 
this bill to the House floor.
  Mr. Speaker, I include that list for the Record.

 DRINKING WATER STATE REVOLVING FUND CAPITALIZATION GRANTS LOST BECAUSE 
               OF REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP'S DELAY ON S. 1316              
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percent 
                                                                   of   
                    State                       Grant amount   available
                                                                dollars 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
CA...........................................     $41,827,400       6.03
TX...........................................      38,771,900       5.59
MI...........................................      32,984,000       4.75
NY...........................................      32,700,300       4.71
PA...........................................      29,441,200       4.24
NC...........................................      25,486,100       3.67
FL...........................................      24,943,600       3.59
OH...........................................      23,805,300       3.43
MN...........................................      23,259,900       3.35
WI...........................................      22,961,600       3.31
IL...........................................      21,279,400       3.07
WA...........................................      17,213,700       2.48
VA...........................................      16,272,200       2.34
NJ...........................................      15,445,900       2.23
AK...........................................      14,943,900       2.15
GA...........................................      14,245,400       2.05
IN...........................................      14,210,600       2.05
MO...........................................      12,080,400       1.74
CT...........................................      11,832,000       1.70
LA...........................................      11,286,000       1.63
OR...........................................      10,457,200       1.51
MD...........................................       9,749,900       1.40
OK...........................................       9,706,300       1.40
AZ...........................................       9,361,700       1.35
IA...........................................       9,316,900       1.34
CO...........................................       9,276,500       1.34
MS...........................................       9,105,200       1.31
MT...........................................       8,194,400       1.18
SC...........................................       8,191,900       1.18
MA...........................................       7,928,200       1.14
ID...........................................       7,825,000       1.13
KS...........................................       7,790,300       1.12
NH...........................................       7,602,300       1.10
NE...........................................       7,087,800       1.02
TN...........................................       7,061,400       1.02
NM...........................................       7,052,400       1.02
ME...........................................       6,993,500       1.01
RI...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
VT...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
PR...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
DC...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
DE...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
WV...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
AL...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
AR...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
ND...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
SD...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
UT...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
WY...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
HI...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
NV...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
KY...........................................       6,941,300       1.00
------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster], the very able chairman of the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure.
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.
  Mr. Speaker, I certainly want to strongly support this legislation, 
congratulate my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, particularly the 
gentleman from Virginia [Mr. Bliley], chairman of the committee, the 
gentleman from Minnesota [Mr. Oberstar], the gentleman from New York 
[Mr. Boehlert], the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Borski], as well 
as the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Blute], the gentleman from 
Tennessee [Mr. Wamp], and the gentleman from New Jersey [Mr. Menendez], 
who were all very positive forces to help bring about the passage of 
this very important legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, this legislation improves source water quality. Our 
interest in the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is 
essentially title 5, which deals with infrastructure.
  I know the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Dingell], my dear friend, in 
years past when he was chairman of the committee, had an extraordinary 
ability to find elasticity in the jurisdiction of his committee. I 
guess that is still happening today. However, it is very clear title 5 
is under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure. Indeed, those were the conferees, exclusive conferees.
  Mr. Speaker, I am also quite surprised to hear the gentleman taking 
umbrage at what we in our committee did, those of us who had 
jurisdiction on both sides of the aisle, over this legislation. I am 
particularly surprised to see him put pictures of porkers up there and 
talk about specific projects, when indeed the Rouge River in his 
district has had over $320 million earmarked in the past for projects, 
and indeed in the current appropriation bill there is $20 million of 
unauthorized appropriation. I guess we should be vigorously objecting 
to $20 million that is earmarked in an appropriation bill for the 
gentleman's congressional district when it is not even authorized.
  So it seems to me fair is fair here, and I guess we better focus a 
little more intently on some of these unauthorized projects. The good 
news about this bill is that it provides a billion dollars a year in a 
State revolving loan fund to finance State drinking water facilities; 
$350 million a year for a national program for drinking water 
infrastructure; a program for grants to Alaska and to the States along 
the United States-Mexican border; a program for grants to the New York 
City watershed, which is of extraordinary importance.
  So, Mr. Speaker, we are very pleased that we have been able to 
support this. It is a national bill. It is a bill that really makes the 
American public a real winner because we now have an excellent new 
drinking water law that provides assistance, not only to specific 
regions, but to the Nation as a whole.
  Mr. Speaker, I strongly urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle 
to support this very powerful environmental legislation.

                              {time}  1215

  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 15 seconds.
  I just want to note that because the Republican leadership delayed 
the consideration of this bill past the Wednesday deadline to 
accommodate the gentleman from Pennsylvania's taste for pork, his State 
lost $26.4 million which would have been used to improve the safety of 
the drinking water for its 12 million citizens.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 6 minutes and 30 seconds to the distinguished 
gentleman from California [Mr. Waxman].
  (Mr. WAXMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, before I focus on my substantive concerns 
with S. 1316, I want to recognize some of the Members and staff who 
have made invaluable contributions to this legislation: Congressmen Jim 
Saxton, Sherwood Boehlert, and Frank Pallone deserve our thanks for 
their efforts on the right-to-know provision and Nita Lowey, Bart 
Stupak, and Sherrod Brown must be commended for their committed 
advocacy for the bill's estrogenic screening program. I also want to 
thank the House Democratic staff, Dick Frandsen and Bill Tyndall, Greg 
Dotson and Phil Schiliro for their work on this legislation.
  In many respects, this is a good bill and one we should be proud to 
support. We worked hard on a bipartisan basis to resolve difficult 
issues. It was clear to me that both houses and both parties were 
committed to passing strong and balanced legislation. But I cannot 
support the conference report that is before us today. I will vote no 
for two reasons:
  First, the State revolving fund, which is one of the most important 
provisions in this legislation, has just lost over $700 million in 
guaranteed

[[Page H9866]]

funding because Congress missed the July 31 deadline. This is only half 
a bill without the SRF, and half a bill will not solve our drinking 
water problems.
  There is absolutely no reason why the guaranteed money had to be 
lost.
  The second reason I will not support this legislation is that pork 
projects took priority over protecting the public health and assuring 
drinking water standards. The reason this bill made sense is that we 
took the recommendation of President Clinton to have a revolving fund 
that would provide money to the water systems in this country to use to 
make the capital expenditures so they could have drinking water that 
would meet health standards. That was the carrot.
  The stick in this legislation was if they did not do the things that 
were necessary, funds would be withheld from those water systems.
  The bill made sense. The revolving fund was supposed to be 
distributed based on priorities and merit to those systems that needed 
those funds. That was the legislation that came out of our Committee on 
Commerce.
  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure decided that they 
wanted $50 million for special projects to be earmarked to receive 
their money, whether they deserved it or not. When the House 
bill passed, we incorporated a feature saying maybe some of these pork 
projects are inevitable. But let us be assured that the revolving fund 
is appropriated, at least 75 percent of it, before we start funding 
these special pork projects.

  That was the House position. We had a unanimous vote of the House to 
support that position. And we went into meetings with the Senate and 
the Senate agreed with that position in conference. But then the 
chairman of the Transportation Committee insisted that he have his 
projects funded before the revolving fund would be funded. He insisted 
that his projects be funded in advance of the revolving fund.
  Mr. Speaker, the Republican leadership should have taken the 
opportunity to show some leadership. They should have said if we could 
not do this before the deadline, let us extend the deadline, as we 
recommended by the gentleman from Michigan, Congressman Dingell. The 
Republican leadership would not assert their role.
  The second thing is that the congressional Republican leadership 
should have said no to the chairman of the Transportation Committee. 
You cannot get your pork barrel projects funded without the revolving 
fund being funded first. And the Republican leadership would not say no 
to pork.
  Then the Republican leadership should have said to the Committee on 
Appropriations, we want to make sure that we are going to safeguard 
this money for the drinking water fund. And the Republican leadership 
would not say no.
  If we are going to deal with the problems of fiscal responsibility in 
this country, the leadership of this House must say no to pork. And if 
we are going to deal with the drinking water problems in this Nation 
and have a revolving fund, the leadership must say that fund will be 
available.
  So, Mr. Speaker, it is with a great deal of sadness that I have to 
stand here, after having worked so hard on this bill, and to announce 
that I will vote against this bill. I will vote against it because the 
bill does not work if the revolving fund is not appropriated.
  I feel that a miscarriage of fairness has taken place. I will yield 
to the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster]. I want to point out, 
before I yield to him, that one of the projects that was earmarked for 
special consideration was in his district and it was mandated that the 
Corps of Engineers carry out this project, even though the Corps of 
engineers said to us they did not think it was a good project.
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. WAXMAN. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, that is not accurate. There is no mandate 
that the corps carry out that provision, No. 1.
  No. 2, there is nothing in this legislation that says the grants in 
title V will be funded first. No. 3, your commerce conferees violated 
the instructions of this House yourselves. You did not uphold the 
instructions and, most important, you sent us a letter to our committee 
asking us to earmark $7 million for a Santa Monica project for 
yourself, for yourself, for your own project.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman does not know what he is 
talking about.
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I have a letter right here.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman is absolutely incorrect. Maybe 
it is better to be on the offensive rather than the defensive, but the 
gentleman is being offensive when he incorrectly states the 
circumstances.
  The House voted unanimously to insist that his project do not get 
funded until 75 percent of the revolving fund is appropriated. That was 
disregarded and it means that we have no revolving fund to make the 
drinking water law work. I regret it and I think that we should 
unfortunately vote against this bill.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster].
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, we have right here the proposed Committee 
on Commerce offer which was that you backed away from the 75-percent 
trigger with regard to New York City and Alaska. So you violated the 
instructions of the House, No. 1.
  No. 2, I have a letter from my good friend from California, dated 
March 29 of this year, asking for us to earmark $7.5 million for a 
project in his district.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. SHUSTER. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Is it not true that the Senate receded to the House to 
provide for the 75-percent funding and then the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania objected?
  Mr. SHUSTER. Reclaiming my time, they did not yield on that simple 
point. They threw other provisions in as well which we could not 
accept.


                announcement by the speaker pro tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Taylor of North Carolina). The Chair 
would ask the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Dingell] if he could remove 
the item from the table.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I would be happy to remove it, if the Chair 
can tell me what is objectionable here?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair believes it is a breach of decorum 
of the House.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, what is the breach? I am delighted to 
comply with the wishes of the Chair, but I am trying to understand what 
is it, where is the breach?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair believes that displaying the pig 
in front of the honored ranking member of the Committee on Commerce is 
a breach of decorum of the House and would ask that it be removed.
  Mr. DINGELL. You mean this little pig, Mr. Speaker, is a breach of 
decorum of the House?
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I have no objection, if the gentleman wants 
to be identified with a pig in front of him. That is perfectly all 
right to me.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I would like to comply with the wishes of 
the Chair. I just want to know what it is that the Chair is finding 
inconsistent with the rules of the House. I would observe that this pig 
would probably be more suitably displayed on the Republican committee 
table, but if the Chair desires that this pig be removed, I will, of 
course, remove it.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair appreciates the gentleman's 
removal of it.
  The gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Dingell] is recognized.
  Mr. DINGELL. I have no desire to speak at this time, Mr. Speaker.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Does the gentleman wish to yield time?
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, am I instructed by the Chair to remove this 
pig or to keep it?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Yes, the gentleman should remove it. Does 
the gentleman wish to yield time?
  Mr. DINGELL. Not at this time, Mr. Speaker.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes and 30 seconds to the 
distinguished gentleman from Florida [Mr. Bilirakis], distinguished 
chairman of the Subcommittee on Health and Environment of the Committee 
on Commerce.
  (Mr. BILIRAKIS asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)

[[Page H9867]]

  Mr. BILIRAKIS. Mr. Speaker, let us get to the bottom line here. The 
conference has done its work and has produced a bill which will meet 
all of our objectives, every single one. First we have reformed and 
reauthorized one of our Nation's key environmental statutes. We have 
fundamentally changed the way the statute works and the way that the 
Safe Drinking Water Act allocates responsibilities between the Federal 
Government and the States.
  Second, as opposed to previous mandates emanating from the ivory 
tower that is Washington--we are actually paying for new regulations up 
front. The conference agreement provides authorization for a $7.6 
billion State revolving loan fund to meet both past deficiencies and 
new requirements.
  I think this bill makes it clear that we are no longer doing business 
as usual in Washington. Instead, we are producing legislation which 
advances the public health while making our laws and regulations more 
flexible, more sensible, and more responsive to local conditions.
  The old Safe Drinking Water Act simply did not work well enough. 
Evidence of that fact is no more than a few steps away at any drinking 
water tap in the U.S. Capitol. The smell of extra chlorine lets you 
know we have a problem.
  I believe we have a large part of the solution in this bill and 
expect that appropriations will be made available, starting in October, 
to provide money to the State Revolving Loan Fund. In addition, the 
conference report authorizes new studies on the health effects of 
drinking water contaminants, the biomedical effects of contaminants in 
the human body and on the occurrence of waterborne disease.
  These efforts should help reassure all Americans that we are taking 
problems, such as those experienced by the District of Columbia this 
year and Milwaukee in 1993 very seriously. The final legislation will 
enhance both our knowledge and our ability to take corrective measures.
  But these efforts are only part of the solution that this conference 
report offers. Under the legislation, EPA will have to ``right size'' 
its regulations--identifying affordable technology which can be used by 
public water systems as small as 25 customers. In addition, public 
water systems are offered relief from requirements which only increase 
their costs without a resulting benefit.
  We also are promoting the establishment of State programs to train 
public water system operators and to help ensure that both new and 
existing systems have the technical, financial, and managerial capacity 
to meet drinking water standards. Altogether, we are telling the States 
to develop individual solutions to their local problems and are 
rejecting the notion that each and every regulation must come from EPA 
headquarters.
  But more than that--I believe this legislation will help to reassure 
people that the water which flows from their faucets will not cause 
them harm. In this legislation, we have accelerated public notice of 
drinking water violations and incorporated a new consumer confidence 
report to keep people informed, on an annual basis, of the quality of 
their water.
  All of these things are accomplished in a bill which literally pays 
for itself. According to the Congressional Budget Office, and I quote, 
``the bill would change the Federal drinking water program in ways that 
would lower the costs to public water systems of complying with 
existing and future requirements. On balance, CBO estimates that the 
bill would likely result in significant net savings to State and local 
governments.''
  Mr. Speaker, this legislation passed my subcommittee on a unanimous 
vote of 24 to 0. It then passed our full committee by a vote of 42-0 
and was approved by the full House without dissent. This conference 
report represents a further refinement and improvement of the 
underlying statute. I urge its immediate adoption.

                              {time}  1230

  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Stupak].
  Mr. STUPAK. Mr. Speaker, it should be pointed out that because of 
delay of the Republican leadership and consideration of this bill past 
the Wednesday deadline, the gentleman from Florida, his State lost $25 
million to improve the safe drinking water for its 13\1/2\ million 
citizens.
  I was a member of the conferees on this report and my colleagues know 
I was very proud of the bill we have. It is a great public policy bill. 
But to meet our needs we need $8.6 million to provide for all the Safe 
Drinking Water Act projects in this Nation. But instead, we found out 
that pigs do fly and there is such a thing as a pig in a poke because 
we have lost money because of delays, and we have also lost money 
because of the earmarking that went onto this bill, something we 
strongly objected to.
  For the past 4 years some of us have tried to come to this Congress 
to knock off the pork-like projects. Let my colleagues' projects stand 
on the merit of their project and not on who sits on a committee. That 
is the way it should be. But no, we cannot have that.
  As my colleagues know, we made a historic move this week. We did 
welfare reform, we did minimum wage earlier today, and we did some 
health care, but we just cannot seem to get away from those old bad 
habits we just cannot resist.
  Later today we are going to do a motion to recommit. The motion to 
recommit is going to say let us knock off the pork projects, let us let 
the legislation, let our colleagues' water projects stand on the 
merits, project against project. I am proud to put up my district 
against any district here on the projects.
  Let us not do this earmarking. It is wrong. It is contrary to why we 
came here. I hope each and every Member will look closely at our motion 
to recommit and knock off the earmarks. Let us break the bad habits 
that lead us to deficits that we struggled to get under control.
  We can do it if we would work together, but to take the needs of this 
country and for certain Members to carve out their own exception so 
they can have something to go back home and campaign on is wrong.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York [Mr. Boehlert], a member of the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure.
  (Mr. BOEHLERT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to watch some of the 
people who are complaining so vociferously against the enlightened 
action of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The same 
people, one after another, come before me as chairman of the 
Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment and asked for this 
project and this project and this project.
  As for my distinguished colleague from Michigan, he is the graddaddy 
of them all. Do my colleagues know that little pig he had on this desk? 
That piggy is named River Rouge. Do my colleagues want to know why? 
Because he got $325 million over 6 years earmarked for River Rouge. He 
is so found of that that he needs that little piggy, River Rouge. Glad 
to see the gentleman bring it here; good to see it once again.
  Let me tell my colleagues, today we are taking a historic step toward 
improving the quality of the water we drink and the environment on 
which we all depend. The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 is 
the most significant environmental legislation since President George 
Bush signed the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 on December 11, 1990.
  That historic legislation that President Bush signed, the gentleman 
from California [Mr. Waxman] and I were teamed up and we worked very 
hard to have an acid rain provision in that bill.
  I am sorry we do not completely come eye-to-eye on this bill today 
but, quite frankly, my colleagues know what the drill is. It is a 
matter of jurisdiction, and the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Dingell, 
does not like the fact that the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. 
Shuster, came up with a good idea in the Committee on Transportation 
and Infrastructure, and Mr. Shuster has designed a program that we are 
warmly embracing.
  Now my colleagues have got to accept the fact that other people have 
ideas and other committees other than the Committee on Commerce have 
some jurisdiction. It is a reality of life that we have to accept. I 
have, and I think most of our conferees have.

[[Page H9868]]

  The conference report before us today embodies most environmental 
aspects of the drinking water bills produced by the House and Senate, 
and I am proud to identify with them. The drinking water provisions 
before us are pro-environment, pro-State and local government and pro-
business.
  Every major environmental group in the Nation, the Sierra Club, the 
Audubon Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the list 
goes on and on, strongly supports the Safe Drinking Water Act 
amendments of 1996, and do my colleagues want to know why? It is 
because we provide $7.6 billion through the year 2003 for improvements 
to our Nation's crumbling drinking water infrastructure. We provide up 
to $50 million annually in grants to assist America's poorest 
communities in providing safe, dependable drinking water. We provide 
critical new information to consumers on drinking water quality through 
community right-to-know provisions.
  This is a good bill.
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. BLILEY. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SHUSTER. My friend, the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Stupak], who 
is railing against earmarks, has a request before our committee to 
earmark $4 million for the Grand Maris Harbor for himself.
  Mr. BOEHLERT. The gentleman from Pennsylvania proved my point.
   Mr. Speaker, I tell my colleague this: If you are for a cleaner, 
healthier, safer environment, and I think you all are, support this 
important legislation.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the distinguished 
gentleman from California [Mr. Waxman].
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I only want to correct the record. The 
environmental groups that had supported this legislation have withdrawn 
their support because they know this law will not work unless we have 
an appropriation for that revolving fund.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Indiana [Mr. Roemer].
  Mr. ROEMER. Mr. Speaker, I do not have a dog in this fight and I 
certainly do not have a pig in this bill, but I did come to this floor 
to hopefully argue the merits of this bill and to support this bill, 
and I will argue that there are three good reasons to support this 
bill.
  However, there are two good reasons not to support this bill, and 
after coming along so quickly with welfare reform and health care 
reform it is a travesty. We have not only hit a speed bump here but we 
have gone down into a ravine, with $725 million being lost because this 
bill was not done in a bipartisan way, and with the pork that is in 
here with such things as studies and multimedia programs.
  I will recommend to most of my colleagues, Mr. Speaker, that we 
support this bill with those two big flaws in it.
  First of all, this gives the EPA better flexibility and our small 
municipalities better flexibility for alternative and affordable water 
systems; second, we use risk and cost-benefit analysis, something that 
I have been a strong advocate for on the Committee on Science for 
several years. Third, we give better right-to-know for our customers. 
When there are contaminants in the tap water, every year the water 
systems must report on those problems.
  Now I was a conferee on this conference, Mr. Speaker, and I am very 
saddened by the fact that we have lost $725 million and the pigs have 
been added into this bill. I will reluctantly encourage a ``yes'' vote.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Idaho [Mr. Crapo], a member of the committee.
  (Mr. CRAPO asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. CRAPO. Mr. Speaker, I am glad to come here and support this 
bipartisan bill. It has been crafted with strong support from both 
parties throughout the process. I am a little saddened to see the 
tenure of the debate today because of the issues that have been raised, 
but let me talk about why this bill is so important for us to move 
forward.
  Many of my colleagues know I come from a rural State and, like many 
of the environmental mandates imposed on our States, the original Safe 
Drinking Water Act was crafted without the careful consideration of the 
ramifications that cookie-cutter solutions imposed by Washington will 
have on the States, the counties and cities across our country.
  Idaho is home to about a million people, and of the 2,700 water 
systems in my State, all but 12 have less than 10,000 users. Again and 
again and again across our State people have asked me to let us use the 
kinds of scientifically based solutions that will make our drinking 
water clean without forcing us to spend so much money on the cookie-
cutter solutions that do not work. This bill does that.
  This bill makes it so that no longer will the EPA be forced to 
regulate from Washington in a way that does not make sense. We will not 
have to continue to look for contaminants that do not exist on our 
water, and we can focus on the things that will work.
  The EPA has estimated that the cost of cleaning up the clean water 
and the systems in our country will be about $8 billion, and this bill 
provides a revolving State loan fund that will give us the ability to 
bring those resources to bear to clean the water across our country.
  It provides technical assistance for rural water systems like those 
found in my State, Idaho.
  It provides for risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis, and it 
assures that the public will get clear and accurate information about 
the effects of contaminations in their population and subgroups and the 
health risks that they may face.
  This is the kind of bill that we ought to be linking arms to move 
forward to pass, and I encourage Members from both sides of the aisle 
to put aside our differences. Let us again step forward in this 
Congress and make some significant progress for the clean drinking 
water of America.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Oregon [Ms. Furse].
  Ms. FURSE. Mr. Speaker, Members of this Congress are hired to do a 
job. We are not hired to get reelected. When one is in the majority, 
one of the jobs they have to do is, they have to get bills to the floor 
on time.
  Now there are few things more important to Americans than the quality 
of the water they drink. In my hometown, Portland, OR has worked very 
hard to get safe drinking water, but the job of the Congress is to take 
care of the details. It is to see that our work gets down on time, an 
the devil is in the details.
  Unfortunately, the Republican leadership took so long to get this 
bill to the floor that we have lost, we have lost $275 million for 
projects. Why? Why was there this delay? Well, I would think it is 
politics. Oregon, my home State, has lost as a real consequence $10.5 
million.
  I would say let us not worry about pork projects for people who maybe 
need to get reelected. Let us rather worry about clean drinking water 
for the people who live in this country, our American citizens.
  Mr. STUPAK. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. DINGELL. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. STUPAK. Mr. Speaker, I would like to address the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster]. He indicated that I had a Grand Maris 
project in this bill. Nothing could be further from the truth. He 
should have been honest with the American people.
  Now this is a Safe Drinking Water Act. What the gentleman talked 
about is a break wall. Now I do not know last night if, in expending 
their definition of pork under Safe Drinking Water Act, they are now 
adding break walls.
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman would yield, I never said 
it was in this bill. It is in another bill the gentleman has before our 
committee.
  Mr. STUPAK. Would the gentleman like us to take down his words so he 
can remember what he said?
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I did not say it was in this bill.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California [Mr. Bilbray], a member of the committee.
  Mr. BILBRAY. Mr. Speaker, I am very impressed with my colleagues who 
are concerned about the effective and efficient use of taxpayers' 
funds. I think all of America will be very impressed with the fact that 
Congress is finally very, very sensitive on that issue. But let me 
remind my colleagues, if we defeat this bill here

[[Page H9869]]

today we will lose over $500 million that can be used for safeguarding 
our drinking water.
  Mr. Speaker, what we are talking about here today is having a new 
Safe Drinking Water Act that fulfills the promises of the old act. One 
example is that there are many assumptions that the voters and the 
citizens of America make about their drinking water.
  One of them was the fact that when one bought a bottle of water, that 
the Federal Government assured that it was as clean as what was coming 
out of the tap. Under the old act that assurance was not a reality. 
Under the new act that assurance will be in reality.
  Now, our bottled water in America has been very good, but I think the 
assurance that it is, and will remain good is what the new act is all 
about. We are fulfilling the promises of the old act with the new act.

                              {time}  1415

  Mr. Speaker, I am privileged to live in the community of San Diego, 
which, according to every major environmental group that has 
investigated it, has some of the safest drinking water in the entire 
United States. It is too bad, though, that when I fly across the 
country every week and come to work in Washington, I cannot be assured 
that in Washington, here in the Nation's Capital, where the Federal 
Government has its greatest responsibility, our drinking water is not 
as safe as it is on the Pacific coast.
  I would ask that my colleagues find reasons to improve on the old, to 
be able to move forward in a progressive way. This bill is the 
progressive bill, the bill that fulfills the promises of the old that 
never were fulfilled. Today it is time to move forward. Let us not find 
excuses to walk away from our responsibilities. Let us do what is right 
and approve this new, progressive Safe Drinking Water Act.
  I rise in strong support of this progressive and bipartisan bill, 
which will have an enormously beneficial effect on the health and 
environment of the American people. As a conferee on this landmark 
legislation, I can tell you that this conference report on the Safe 
Drinking Water Act [SDWA] marks a major shift away from the regulatory 
status quo of placing undue value and emphasis on the regulation 
itself, toward what the practical effect of the regulation actually is 
on the public health and our natural resources. This is as it should 
be.
  It is this kind of outcome-driven and science-based environmental 
policy-setting that I have been proud to be a part of in this Congress. 
This is the kind of process in which I was used to operating during my 
time in local government, and the results of this cooperative and 
effective policy-making which we see here today will allow us to better 
serve the public health needs of the American people.
  It has been a privilege for me to have been able to play a close role 
in strengthening and improving such an important statute as the SDWA. 
These amendments will provide for sensible and much-needed reforms in 
how the SDWA is implemented.
  H.R. 3604 will help to refocus EPA's priorities and resources toward 
those contaminants which present the greatest and most immediate threat 
to public health, provide EPA and local water authorities with greater 
flexibility in implementing the improved SDWA law, and place new 
emphasis on ensuring that public water systems have the necessary 
technical, managerial, and financial resources available to comply with 
the SDWA.
  Mr. Speaker, this also marks a significant achievement in our ability 
to recognize and address flaws or gaps in our existing environmental or 
public health strategies. Laws such as the SDWA were clearly well-meant 
at the time of their inception--in this case, the 1972-era SDWA has not 
been reauthorized since 1986.
  However, the passage of time invariably exposes weaknesses or 
shortcomings in the strongest of our statutes, and we need to recognize 
and respond to this. In the past, it has often been easier to confront 
problems by simply blaming a law, instead of working together to 
determine whether the law in question is being properly implemented, or 
whether it is still effective in serving its intended purpose. These 
laws need to be as dynamic and flexible as the rapidly changing 
environments we intend for them to protect, and the people who live in 
them.
  This means that occasionally such laws must be reexamined and 
renewed, in order to ensure that their original goals are still being 
achieved.
  I have always believed that we ought not to cling to the conventional 
wisdom that our public health and environment laws are ``set in 
stone'', and incapable of being improved with the application of new 
knowledge. In order to maintain their effectiveness, we have the 
responsibility to see to it that when modern science and technology can 
be applied to improve these laws, we take the appropriate action to do 
so.
  Many of our ``crown jewel'' environmental laws were written over 20 
years ago, and it is incumbent upon us in to make these needed 
improvements when necessary. With this comprehensive reauthorization, 
this Congress accomplished a challenging but long-unachievable task on 
behalf of all of our constituents nationwide. I want to commend my 
chairmen, Mr. Bliley and Mr. Bilirakis, and my other colleagues who 
worked hard together, in a bipartisan manner, to help make this happen.
  In addition to the sound science-based foundation of this bill, I am 
particularly proud of section 305 of the bill, which addresses health 
standards for bottled water. Section 305 is a refinement of 
legislation, H.R. 2601, which I introduced earlier in this Congress. My 
language will simply require that any EPA regulation which sets a 
maximum contaminant level for tap water, and any FDA regulation setting 
a standard of quality for bottled water for the same contaminant, take 
effect at the same time. If the FDA does not promulgate a regulation 
within a realistic time frame as established by section 305, the 
regulation established by the EPA for that element in tap water will be 
considered the applicable regulation for the same element in bottled 
water. This will provide consumers with the health assurances that the 
water they can purchase off the shelf meets at least the same standards 
as their tap water. I have a letter from the International Bottled 
Water Association which elaborates on the benefits of this provision, 
which I would like entered in the Record.
  Mr. Speaker, I'd like to conclude with an observation. In my hometown 
of San Diego, my family and my constituents are very fortunate to 
already enjoy an extremely high standard of quality in our drinking 
water, in fact a recent study by a national environmental group found 
that water systems in the San Diego region reported zero health 
advisories over the last three years.
  By comparison, the same study found that an alarmingly high 
percentage of water systems in some regions of the country--including 
Washington, DC--had reported health advisories or compliance failures 
during the same time period. The Safe Drinking Water Act amendments we 
will pass today, and which will soon be signed into law, will 
strengthen and improve the weak links in the existing statute, and in 
so doing will help bring these high levels of health and environmental 
quality which we appreciate in San Diego to other communities 
nationwide.
  Again, and I can't emphasize it enough, this is a progressive step 
forward, away from a 1970's-era process which places higher value on 
process and regulation itself, towards a more responsible and outcome-
based approach which focuses on the product that is generated.
  This will help us reinforce our common goals of better serving the 
public health needs of the American people, and providing us with a 
cleaner and safer overall environment, which is something we ought to 
be ever mindful of, and never take for granted.
                                             International Bottled


                                            Water Association,

                                    Alexandria, VA, June 25, 1996.
     Hon. Brian Bilbray,
     Longworth House Office Building, House of Representatives, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Rep. Bilbray: The International Bottled Water 
     Association, which represents over 85 percent of all bottled 
     water sold in the United States, would like to thank you for 
     your help in drafting the bottled water provision of the Safe 
     Drinking Water Act legislation. We are also grateful to the 
     committee staff who developed this improved version of the 
     Senate bottled water provision in cooperation with your 
     legislative director, Dave Schroeder.
       Our industry strongly supports the principal objective of 
     this provision, i.e., to require that any EPA regulation 
     setting a maximum contaminant level for tap water and any FDA 
     regulation setting a standard of quality for bottled water 
     for the same contaminant take effect at the same time.
       One in six households relies on bottled water as their 
     source of drinking water. There are 430 companies producing 
     bottled water in the United States with annual sales 
     estimated at $3.4 billion, making bottled water one of the 
     fastest growing segments of the beverage industry.
       Bottled water is regulated by the FDA, the states and 
     through IBWA's own model code. The bottled water provision 
     will ensure that a FDA standard for a contaminant in bottled 
     water is set in a timely manner and is no less protective of 
     the public health than the EPA regulation for the same 
     contaminant in tap water.
       We look forward to seeing the Safe Drinking Water Act 
     legislation signed into law this year. Thank you.
           Sincerely,
                                                Sylvia E. Swanson,
                                         Executive Vice President.


[[Page H9870]]


  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from California [Ms. Eshoo].
  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member of our committee 
for yielding time to me.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind our colleague, the gentleman from 
California [Mr. Bilbray], that because the Republican leadership 
delayed consideration of this bill past the Wednesday deadline, that 
our great State of California, the greatest State in the Union, has 
lost almost $42 million to improve the safety of the drinking water for 
our 31 million citizens.
  Mr. Speaker, there are many that begin their remarks with, and I 
remember a famous politician that said, ``There you go again.'' There 
goes the Congress again. We had a darned good bill that was a 
bipartisan bill, worked up and worked out over a period of time by the 
members of the Committee on Commerce. I was proud that the Committee on 
Commerce rose above what I thought were election year politics to craft 
a workable solution to a very, very important problem in our country. 
That was then, and this is now.
  Here is a list. Here is a list of the pork. We are mixing pork with 
water. Here is the list. These are some of the most vulnerable 
Republican freshmen in the House of Representatives. Now there is a 
rush to mix pork with water. It is being taken out of the revolving 
fund, the capitalization grants for States, $725 million, and we have 
mixed the pork in with it. Where are the reformers in the Congress to 
rush to this floor? Where are the reformers in the Congress coming to 
the floor and saying, ``This does not belong in this bill''? It is 
placing at risk one of the most important issues in our Nation.
  Every American should be able to travel anyplace in this country and 
rely on safe drinking water. Instead, this has been bollixed up with 
pork. So this is not a safe drinking water bill. Now because of the 
Speaker and the Republican leadership, they have turned it into a safe 
reelection bill. I urge my colleagues to vote against it. This is not 
what the bill should be.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes and 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Minnesota [Mr. Oberstar], a member of the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to 
me.
  When all else fails, Mr. Speaker, read the bill. The findings section 
of the Safe Drinking Water Act says:

       The Congress finds that the Federal Government commits to 
     maintaining and improving its partnership with the States in 
     the administration and implementation of the Safe Drinking 
     Water Act. States play a central role in the implementation 
     of safe drinking water programs and need increased financial 
     resources and appropriate flexibility to ensure the prompt 
     and effective implementation of safe drinking water programs.

  Under the rubric of States come cities. Cities are entities of the 
States. What we are doing here is helping cities deal with the problems 
of providing clean and safe drinking water for their people.
  Mr. Speaker, I do not have a little friend to bring with me down here 
to the podium, but I do have an example. Just about 4 years ago, the 
people in the city of Milwaukee were frightened out of their wits by an 
attack that hospitalized thousands and affected 400,000 people with 
abdominal pain, diarrhea, dysentery, and caused 131 deaths when an 
attack of cryptosporidium found in the drinking water was unable to be 
cleansed by the drinking water treatment system of the city of 
Milwaukee.
  If ever there were a red flag on the horizon for America to wake up 
and deal effectively with both the standards and the infrastructure for 
providing safe drinking water for our people, that was the wake-up 
call. This legislation originated in the 103d Congress, moved out of 
our Committee on Public Works and Transportation, did not make it 
through the Congress; but what we have today is an adaptation of that 
legislation.
  I simply want to emphasize that, while there is a great deal of talk 
about specific designation of projects, that is in the report language. 
It is not in the bill. We do this regularly in numerous pieces of 
legislation. Statements of managers in conference reports make specific 
references. This is not law, this is an exhortation of examples of the 
kinds of projects that need to be done and communities that need to be 
helped. We have rendered that judgment. I urge my colleagues, this is a 
fine bipartisan piece of legislation. Support the bill.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Illinois [Mrs. Collins].
  (Mrs. COLLINS of Illinois asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend her remarks.)
  Mrs. COLLINS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, there was a bipartisan 
agreement on giving EPA the authority it needs to ensure the safety of 
the drinking water. It would have guaranteed the public the right to 
know if their drinking water was safe. It would have required EPA to 
issue regulations to prevent deadly microbial contamination of public 
drinking water supplies. It would have prohibited the use of lead 
pipes, solder, and flux in the installation and repair of any public 
water system, as well as repair of any facility connected to that 
public water system.
  Unfortunately, these are not the things my Republican colleagues care 
most about. Instead, at the very last minute, and despite the strong 
opposition of Democratic Members and the administration, they have 
turned the safe drinking water conference into the biggest pork barrel 
this House has seen in years.
  In clear violation of the House's instructions to the conferees, the 
Republican conferees have in fact earmarked $175 million for low-
priority pork projects. The conference report forces the EPA to fund 
25, 25 earmarked projects, most of which are in the districts of 
Republican freshmen and other Republicans in marginal districts. What 
does this tell the American people about the Republican majority in 
this House and the environment? It tells them that the only way 
Republicans can support environmental legislation is if it is laden 
with pork that will help their politically vulnerable Members return to 
their seats in Congress and keep pork chops on their own tables.
  They don't care whether EPA has the authority to combat deadly 
microbial organisms like cryptosporidium in the drinking water 
supplies. Last year, Republican Members voted for legislation to 
prohibit EPA from even working on, much less issuing a rule to keep 
deadly microbes, like cryptosporidium, out of drinking water.
  It was on February 24, 1995, my Democratic colleagues and I offered a 
motion to recommit the regulatory moratorium bill. The only thing the 
motion to recommit would have done was to exempt the microbial 
prevention rule from the moratorium.
  The motion was defeated by my Republican colleagues. The vote was 172 
yeas and 250 nays. Two hundred and twenty-six Republican Members voted 
``no,'' while only one, I repeat, only one Republican Member voted 
``yes.''
  This is how Republicans vote when the question is simply whether or 
not we work for safe drinking water. They oppose it, almost 
unanimously.
  Mr. Speaker, in 1993 an outbreak of the deadly microbe 
cryptosporidium poisoned the water supply of Milwaukee, WI, making 
400,000 people in that city sick and killing over 100 other people. 
Surveys also showed that cryptosporidium was a problem in municipal 
water supplies all over the country, not just in Milwaukee.
  In addition, last year, water here in Washington had such high levels 
of bacteria, including E coli, that the public had to boil their water. 
This year, children and the elderly were advised to refrain from 
drinking it.
  The public is rightfully mad. They are demanding better protection 
from their Government--protection of their health and safety, not 
protection of the political careers of freshmen Republican Members.
  It is time for us all to do what is right for the people we serve, 
simply because it is the right thing to do and not because we want some 
project to talk about at election time.
  It is time for this Congress to get on with doing the things that 
matter: keeping deadly microbes out of our drinking water; keeping 
bacteria and pesticides out of the meat, poultry and food we eat; and 
keeping cancer-causing chemicals out of the air and water.
  The sooner my Republican colleagues devote their attentions to these 
fundamental public needs, rather than election year pork, the safer and 
healthier all Americans will be.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Borski] to discuss the subject of 
pork.
  Mr. BORSKI. Mr. Speaker, I think I want to thank the distinguished 
gentleman for yielding me this time.
  Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure Democrats, I want to urge

[[Page H9871]]

support for this bill. Our committee had sole jurisdiction over title 
IV, which provides grants for needy communities all over this country 
to meet their drinking water needs. Money for projects under this title 
is available for every area of the country. It is funding for drinking 
water projects for communities that badly need these funds.
  As a conferee on this title, Mr. Speaker, I want to compliment the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania, Chairman Shuster, and the gentleman from 
New York, Chairman Boehlert, who negotiated with the Senate and 
carefully crafted this compromise on this section of the bill. I want 
to urge support for the bill and opposition to the motion to recommit.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Wamp].
  (Mr. WAMP asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. WAMP. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the safe drinking 
water conference report.
  Mr. Speaker, as vice chairman of the Water Resources and Environment 
Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, 
I know that among the most important items we have considered in this 
104th Congress is the Safe Drinking Water Act reauthorization. This has 
already been an active week, and we have seen just how productive our 
majority can be when we work with our colleagues across the aisle to do 
the Nation's business, the people's business, on behalf of all those 
who sent us here. If we are to see progress in our environmental laws 
to give us cleaner, safer, healthier water, we must work in a timely 
and bipartisan manner. That is what we have done, with the help of some 
dedicated staff from both our committees and the other body.
  I have been especially interested in the area of providing safe 
drinking water supplies to communities in need. While we have debated 
some important national policy items this year in both Chambers, and 
I'm sure we will again in the remaining days of the 104th Congress, 
nothing we do is more important to the individuals residing in 
districts across this country than ensuring their ability to drink 
clean, pure, safe water. As I hear from the people in my district so 
often, this is ``where the rubber meets the road'' on our national 
water policy.
  One last note about meeting our most pressing local needs: in 
communities where there is no reliable supply of water--either due to 
contamination of their wells from natural causes or human activity or 
because of other circumstances beyond local residents' control--our 
constituents don't think that getting help hooking up to a nearby 
public water system is anything more than fulfilling our responsibility 
to provide for their health and safety. Every community with needs like 
that should have a chance to look for help from this bill, and priority 
should be given to those in the most urgent state of need.
  Finally, Mr. Speaker, Chairman Shuster and Chairman Bliley, and my 
other fellow conferees, I appreciate being given the opportunity to 
work with you and everyone on this conference committee to lend a hand 
to shaping this legislation. East Tennessee--and particularly 
Chattanooga--has a reputation for being pro-active in finding solutions 
to our environmental problems and working together as a community to 
promote sound, scientific research in many areas, but especially in the 
area of water. I've pledged to the people I represent to make water 
quality a top priority while I'm in Congress, and participating in this 
conference has been a great help to me in understanding these complex 
issues even better.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
York [Mr. Boehlert].
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Speaker, I wish to make four points. This is inside 
baseball.
  Point No. 1, in response to the gentlewoman from California, the 
conference was not delayed by inaction on the part of any Republican. 
As has been accurately reported in National Journal's Congress Daily, 
the conference was delayed because two Members, the gentleman from 
Michigan [Mr. Dingell] and the gentleman from California [Mr. Waxman], 
objected and refused to sign the conference agreement.
  Point No. 2, this is very important, the dollars that are claimed to 
have been lost I am convinced will not be lost, because every Member of 
this body and the other body wants to make certain that that 24-hour 
delay does not in any way jeopardize the funding that we need for safe 
drinking water.
  Point No. 3, the total amount in dispute is one-quarter of 1 percent 
of the total amount of money funded in this bill.
  Point No. 4, the grants program we are talking about is to help needy 
communities who are striving to provide a cleaner, healthier, safer 
environment for their constituents by improving their water system. 
That is what this program is all about.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to give this bill the support it 
deserves.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Minnesota [Mr. Minge].
  (Mr. MINGE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. MINGE. Mr. Speaker, manipulation of the conference committee 
process and deadlines to take moneys from general funds from all States 
to finance specifically named projects for a select few for their 
political advantage is wrong. It is reprehensible.
  The Pork Busters Coalition cannot object strongly enough. Leadership 
may change, the abuse of the process goes on.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Florida [Mr. Bilirakis].
  Mr. BILIRAKIS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time 
to me.
  Mr. Speaker, I just want to make two points here, and in a way I 
suppose at least one has already been made.
  First, we are not losing money today here, as people on the other 
side are saying. It is unfortunate, we have all worked so well together 
on this piece of legislation, and all of a sudden we are throwing 
stones at each other. It is just a terrible thing to see.
  We are not losing money today, because the States could not possibly 
have been prepared to use the money effective yesterday, which is when 
this thing was supposed to go into effect. We are not talking about the 
States sitting there basically just waiting for this money to start 
putting it into effect right off the bat. It is impossible.
  What we are doing today, of course, is granting the legal authority 
to spend the $7.6 billion on safe drinking water. Actually providing 
this money, as we all know, but nobody seems to be saying it, is the 
job of the Committee on Appropriations, as it always is. Can we guess 
what the Committee on Appropriations is going to do in forthcoming 
years? I think not.
  Second, my colleagues complained rather loudly about so-called pork. 
They do not talk about the 99.75 percent of the bill that they agree 
with. Let the record show that the funding under attack here represents 
less than one-quarter of 1 percent of all funds authorized.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Klink].
  Mr. KLINK. I thank the gentleman for yielding time to me, Mr. 
Speaker.
  I have grave concerns, Mr. Speaker, about the fact that it does 
appear, from everything I have said, and I am just talking to counsel, 
now, that we have indeed lost $725 million that could have been used to 
clean up the drinking water of this Nation.
  When we take a look at the amounts of moneys different States have 
lost, California, almost $42 million; Texas, almost $39 million; my own 
State of Pennsylvania, $28.5 million. We could use that money to clean 
this up. I think what they are saying on the other side is, ``Trust us, 
we will figure out a way to fix it.''
  The fact of the matter is that the Speaker did not appoint the 
conferees in time to get this bill done. There is a pattern of this 
which really is very bothersome to me.
  Earlier this week we brought out the fact, and I hope Members on both 
sides of the aisle will note, that Members are not having their bills 
paid in their offices. Take a look. For the first time in the history 
of this institution, in June, your rent payments were not made. That 
costs us credibility, it costs us money, it costs every Member in this 
office. Now we are not appointing conferees in time, so the States of 
this country do not in fact have tens of millions of dollars that they 
normally would have in order to clean up this water.
  When we were doing the contract on America we were marching through, 
the trains were running on time. Now all of a sudden it comes time for 
Congress to either pay its bills, pass legislation on time, or lose 
three-quarters

[[Page H9872]]

of a billion dollars, and we cannot do it on time.

                              {time}  1300

  How can you run this country when you cannot run this Congress? That 
is the question that needs to be asked today.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Markey].
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Speaker, 2 years ago the House freshmen came to 
Washington to carry out a revolution. They promised to balanced the 
budget, to slash wasteful spending, to end pork-barrel spending. Now, 2 
years later, two unsuccessful Government shutdowns later, the freshmen 
are running scared.
  The voters have said no to Medicare cuts, no to education cuts, no to 
mean and extreme programs dealing with the environment, no to the 
Gingrich revolution. So what do the freshmen do now in their desperate 
attempt to save their own political hides? They attach $350 million for 
pork-barrel projects for themselves in a clean drinking water bill 
while more important programs, of course, are going to suffer in the 50 
States where the money should have been spent.
  So here is what we have:
  One little piggy goes to Iowa; one little piggy program stays home in 
Ohio; one little piggy program gets money for Washington State, and 
other more important programs get none; and 13 vulnerable House 
Republicans go wee, wee all the way home with their pork.
  Mr. Speaker, if this is a revolution, if this is the most important 
thing that we can be doing in this country for the next generation, it 
would be like fighting the French Revolution and not attacking the 
Bastille for the Republicans to have all this pork in this safe 
drinking water bill, and for all of them to unanimously be saying vote 
for it.

  What a transformation for the freshman class, so proud that they are 
now able to stick port in for their own district while knowing that it 
violates the instructions of this very House, of the recession of the 
Senate to our position that there should be no pork, and at the same 
time delaying so long in figuring out how to put in the pork that an 
extra $725 million are lost across this country for safe drinking water 
projects in every State in the Union.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
Michigan [Mr. Barcia].
  Mr. BARCIA. Mr. Speaker, This bill will enhance the tools that our 
Government has to assure a safe drinking water supply. The bill will 
also protect the taxpayer, providing more flexibility to local 
officials by maintaining standards, but easing excessive requirements. 
The public has a right to clean water and has a right to know when, and 
by what, their water supply is at risk. For that reason, the agreement 
also makes the public right to know part of the law of the land.
  With flexibility and protection, we still have billions of dollars in 
unmet water infrastructure needs. This legislation incorporates 
provisions of the Water Supply Infrastructure Assistance Act of 1995, 
which provide for a new State revolving loan fund, which will provide 
loans and technical assistance to communities with drinking water 
quality problems.
  In discussing this historic compromise, I feel compelled by 
misleading comments made by a few of our colleagues to discuss a 
provision in the bill which provides specific assistance for several 
communities in our Nation. One of those communities is Bad Axe in my 
Fifth District of Michigan. I have been working with officials in that 
town for years to find a solution to their problems with arsenic, 
barium, and visible iron. No resources have been available to address 
their lack of resources. Their efforts to fix the existing system have 
cost money, raising citizens' monthly bills. To complicate matters, the 
water has so much foreign matter that it necessitates the early 
replacement of pipes, water heaters and other home and municipal water 
equipment, placing another financial burden on the town and its 
citizens.
  Yet, Mr. Speaker, the solution lies just 17 miles away in three 
different directions. But, because Federal and State resources are not 
available, and taxpayers already bear too large a tax burden for a 
rural farm economy to support, the attempt to connect to one of three 
plants in adjacent towns has not been possible. Instead, good money is 
thrown after bad, wasted on stop gap measures to provide enough water 
which may be appropriate for nondrinking uses like washing clothes. 
These few dollars are the only way for Bad Axe to solve its drinking 
water crisis. So, Mr. Speaker, when someone tells the people of Bad Axe 
that they are the recipients of pork, Federal Government largess, let 
us remember that we are talking about citizens in need; citizens in a 
small town which is overextended which lies in a State which receives 
one of the lowest national returns on its Federal tax dollar. If this 
is pork, Mr. Speaker, pass the platter.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from New Jersey [Mr. Pallone].
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, in June we had a very good bipartisan bill 
passed out of the Committee on Commerce, but unfortunately the 
Republican leadership could not leave well enough alone. They had to 
take it into their back rooms and load it up with political pork. This 
is the same Republican leadership that claims to be for reform and for 
cutting unnecessary spending.
  The House passed the bill on June 25, yet once again the Republican 
leadership still could not get it right. They delayed and they delayed. 
It took an astounding 3 weeks for the leadership to appoint conferees.
  Now, it is August 2 and we have lost $725 million in fiscal year 1996 
funds. In my own State alone we have lost nearly $15.5 million in 
grants funds. On top of that the Republican leadership has earmarked 
for their vulnerable Members on a political basis $175 million of what 
is left.
  Mr. Speaker, this is simply an outrage. They have taken legislation 
that was supported by the industry and environmentalists, by Democrats 
and Republicans, by the right and the left, and they have basically 
made it almost unsupportable at this point. It is a real shame. It is a 
tragedy. This could have been a bill that everyone would have supported 
and that we could have used as an example of good legislation that this 
House could pass this session, and instead we have this bill, loaded up 
with pork that is practically unsupportable at this time.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the distinguished 
gentleman from California [Mr. Waxman].
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I want to set the record straight about the 
delay on this conference report. The deadline for approving the fund 
was July 31. We did not get the conference report papers until August 
1. The gentleman from New York indicated that the gentleman from 
Michigan [Mr. Dingell] and I might have been responsible for that. It 
was the mangers of this legislation.
  The last point I want to make is the House voted unanimously for one 
position. That was to keep these pork projects out of that revolving 
fund and let them stand in line later if they can claim on the merits 
that they should be funded, and that position was rejected.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, I would begin by expressing great respect and affection 
for my dear friend from Virginia. He worked well with me in the 
consideration of this legislation. He is a fine and valued Member of 
this Congress.
  I also want to express great respect and affection for the 
distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster]. That may come 
as a surprise to the gentleman, but I do feel that way.
  I want to talk a little bit about what has happened here and why we 
are in this mess.
  The leadership, the Speaker, took about 3 weeks in which to appoint 
the conferees. The deadline for money being available under the 
appropriations law was the last day of July. That deadline passed. It 
passed in good part because the Public Works Committee and my good 
friend from Pennsylvania, Mr. Shuster, did not accept the concession of 
the Senate in which the Senate agreed they would recede and concur with 
regard to the handling of the moneys within the bill.
  One of the important things to note is that what is at issue here is 
not just

[[Page H9873]]

pork. I have always voted, almost without exception, with the Public 
Works Committee and at one time I was a member of that committee and I 
understand the art of pork and the art of taking care of Members of 
this Congress. But the point that needs to be made is that we have here 
a fund which is too small. It is about $725 million. That is all that 
is available to address the problems of clean water in all the 
districts in this country. The Committee on Public Works has short-
stopped half of that money, $350 million worth of it. That means that 
they will allocate--not on the basis of merit but on the basis of pure, 
raw, unadulterated politics--money which should be allocated on the 
basis of real need. There is not enough money. Need should be the basis 
on which the money is going to be allocated, but that mechanism will 
not be used. Rather, this money will be short-stopped.
  The consequence of this is that in district after district, all 
around the country, in every State in the union, major projects which 
need to be addressed on the basis of safety and the public health will 
not be addressed because money has been allocated on a political basis, 
not on the basis of need and not on the basis of public health. That is 
why this is a bad action, and it should be clear in the record as we go 
forward in our business.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  This has been an interesting debate. I would like first to clear up 
what I consider to be a few inaccuracies. First, this bill is $7.6 
billion in total. All of this fuss is over $25 million.
  I would also like to point out in this, for all of the Members, those 
present and those who may be watching, this is very, very important. 
This motion to recommit that will be offered, I understand, if it is 
offered, is not debatable.
  What it means is that the bill would then go back to conference. It 
is not something that would come back immediately to the floor, which 
means you would go home and you would not have passed this vital piece 
of legislation and we would lose additional millions of dollars of 
money for these vitally needed projects. That is absolutely important.
  Mr. Speaker, we need to pass this bill, this conference report, send 
it over to the other body, and have them pass it, so that we can ensure 
the quality of the drinking water of the communities and the citizens 
of this Nation.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge adoption of the conference report.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I would like to praise the work of the 
staff: My chief of staff, J.E. Derderian; Bob Meyers; Nandan 
Kenkeremath; Chris Wolf; and our general counsel, Charles Ingebretson.
  Mr. FRANKS of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of 
H.R. 3592, the Water Resources Development Act of 1996. I commend 
Chairman Bud Shuster and Chairman Sherwood Boehlert for their diligent 
work in drafting this important legislation.
  The Water Resources Development Act of 1996 contains several 
provisions drawn from legislation that I introduced earlier this year 
to help our Nation's ports. For centuries, our ports have been the 
arteries that have kept our economy thriving. More than 95 percent of 
our Nation's commerce relies on our ports to send or receive goods and 
raw materials. Our ports not only provide an economical and energy-
efficient means of transportation for thousands of businesses, they are 
also a major source of jobs. Some 15 million people work in port-
related jobs across the country. In my region alone, the Port of New 
York and New Jersey provides jobs for 180,000 workers.
  But today, the economic viability of our ports is being threatened by 
Government regulations that have severely curtailed the centuries-old 
practice of dredging berths and channels. Ports throughout the Nation, 
from Oakland to Duluth, Houston to Newark, are facing serious economic 
consequences because of their inability to dredge.
  For decades, the Army Corps of Engineers and private contractors have 
dredged our Nation's channels and disposed of most of the dredge 
sediments in the ocean. But as stringent new procedures have been put 
in place to prohibit the dumping of contaminated materials in the 
ocean, an increasing amount of dredged material is no longer eligible 
for ocean disposal. This has led to a national debate over how to 
safely and economically dispose of the mud. In my State, the Port of 
New York and New Jersey is already losing business because of the 
inability to dispose of contaminated sediment.
  The lack of dredging is having consequences that reach far beyond the 
loading and offloading of container ships. Everyone who lives or works 
in my State benefits from the port. For consumers, it means lower 
prices for the products they buy. For businesses, the port provides a 
convenient and inexpensive way to send or receive final products or raw 
materials. And for workers, the port is a source of thousands of jobs 
both at the port and at the thousands of businesses that rely on the 
port itself to transport their goods.
  In 1994 alone, 409,000 automobiles passed through our port. In all, 
some 4,000 ships arrive at the Port of New York and New Jersey every 
year.

  Until recently, 95 percent of the dredged sediment in the Port of New 
York and New Jersey passed ocean dumping standards. But now, with 
better testing criteria in place, nearly two-thirds of the sediment 
lying at the bottom of the Port of New York and New Jersey is so 
contaminated that under regulations promulgated by the Environmental 
Protection Agency, it is considered category III and cannot be disposed 
of in the ocean. With no other viable dredging disposal option yet in 
place, dredging in the port has literally ground to a halt.
  For several years, I have been working with the Port Authority of New 
York and New Jersey and the two States to help find workable solutions 
for this dredging crisis. This past March I introduced H.R. 3170, the 
Port Revitalization Act of 1996. Since then, this legislation has drawn 
the support of Republicans and Democrats from both New York and New 
Jersey, businesses, labor groups, and the environmental community.
  H.R. 3170 addresses the root cause of the problem now facing the Port 
of New York and New Jersey and others in the United States, which is to 
develop a safe and economical means of disposing of contaminated 
dredged materials. The Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee 
held hearings on this legislation and the issue of dredging, and much 
of my bill is incorporated as part of H.R. 3592.
  Specifically, my legislation authorized the construction of a long-
term confined disposal facility for dredged sediments from the Port of 
New York and New Jersey. Such a facility could meet the port's dredging 
disposal needs well into the next century. Like the successful disposal 
facilities in Baltimore and Norfolk, a contained facility will provide 
an environmentally safe way of disposing of dredged materials that are 
unfit for ocean disposal.
  There are a variety of types of confined disposal facilities that 
could be constructed under this bill, including containment islands, 
subaqueous pits, near-shore facilities, or upland disposal. Moving 
forward with a long-term disposal facility for the port is essential to 
assure the shipping community that this port won't be reliving this 
dredging nightmare every 2 or 3 years. We simply must develop a long-
term facility if we are to keep the current shipping business at the 
port.
  This section of the bill complemented New Jersey State legislation 
that would dedicate substantial State funds to begin dredging and the 
construction of short- and long-term confined disposal facilities. In 
fact, this November New Jerseyans will vote on a $300 million bond 
issue to help with the dredging of our harbor. Together, the Federal 
Government and the States of New Jersey and New York can provide a 
permanent and long-term disposal solution to preserve the vitality of 
this port.

  Next, H.R. 3170 opens up the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to allow 
this fund to help finance the construction of a long-term disposal 
facility and the search for a short-term, interim solution to our 
region's crisis. This fund, which is supported by a tax on shippers, 
established in 1986 to make sure channels are dredged regularly so they 
are safe and navigable. But under current law, the Harbor Maintenance 
Trust Fund cannot be used to help pay for the construction of new 
disposal facilities.
  At a time when ports across the country cannot be dredged because 
there is no safe place to dispose of the dredged materials, it makes no 
sense to keep such tight restrictions on the use of this fund. The 
Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund has a huge $600 million surplus, a 
surplus which is expected to grow by $100 million annually. My bill 
makes this trust fund a significant new funding source for a variety of 
containment facilities and disposal options being considered for our 
port.
  Another provision of the bill would enable the Federal Government, 
through the Army Corps of Engineers, to assume 65 percent of the cost 
of building new confined disposal facilities for dredged sediments, 
regardless of

[[Page H9874]]

where they are located. Under current law, the Federal Government is 
authorized to pay out of general revenue for 65 percent of the cost for 
only ocean disposal of dredged sediment. The Port of New York and New 
Jersey, and many others, can no longer rely exclusively on ocean 
disposal for dredged sediment, and need to find upland or other 
confined facilities to deposit contaminated mud. Through this 
provision, my bill ensures that the Federal Government remains a major 
financing partner in the construction of modern dredged disposal 
facilities.
  Finally, H.R. 3170 reauthorizes the decontamination technology pilot 
study now underway by the Environmental Protection Agency and raises 
its authorization level to $10 million annually. Congress must continue 
to invest in dredged sediment decontamination technology to make the 
dredged material environmentally safe and eligible for either 
beneficial upland use or ocean disposal.
  I am pleased that each of these provisions in H.R. 3170 is included 
in the Water Resources Development Act of 1996. Mr. Speaker, each of 
these provisions will make a significant impact on the status of 
dredging projects in the ports of the United States.
  In addition to these provisions, there are two additional 
authorizations in this legislation which directly affect the Port of 
New York and New Jersey.
  First, H.R. 3592 provides additional funding for the deepening of the 
Kill Van Kull shipping channel to 45 feet. The Kill Van Kull is a 
channel in the Port of New York and New Jersey with a current 
maintained depth of 35 feet. Having the channels deepened to 45 feet 
will enable the largest oceangoing vessels to reach the berths of the 
port without fear of scraping bottom.

  The Water Resources Development Act of 1986 authorized this deepening 
project at the level of $325 million. However, after the completion of 
the first phase of this deepening project down to 40 feet, this 
authorization level had been exceeded and the dredging was put on hold. 
H.R. 3592 raises the authorization for this deepening project to $750 
million, allowing the Army Corps to continue with the second phase of 
the deepening project down to 45 feet.
  Second, this legislation increases the authorization for a similar 
deepening project in the Arthur Kill, a channel between Staten Island, 
NY, and New Jersey. The new authorization level is $82 million, which 
will cover the increased costs of deepening this section of channel. 
Both of these projects will provide invaluable assurance to the 
shipping companies that depend on the depth of the channels to safely 
bring their goods to port.
  In closing, let me once again thank the chairman of the 
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the chairman of the 
Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee for their work in drafting 
this bipartisan, noncontroversial legislation. I urge my colleagues to 
join me is supporting this bill.
  Mr. POSHARD. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to comment on 
the Water Resources Development Act [WRDA]. This is an important, 
bipartisan piece of legislation that will provide the country with the 
resources to meet many pending infrastructure needs. I am particularly 
concerned with flood-control provisions in this legislation. As we 
continue to see on a daily basis, investing in sufficient flood-control 
measures protects our families and property from the devastation in 
floods. I am concerned that the cost-share formula for these projects 
is becoming prohibitive for our rural communities. This bill calls for 
a future formula of 65 percent Federal, 35 percent local, and this will 
have a significant impact on smaller localities, where this help is 
needed most.
  We must continue to be farsighted in our approach to these problems, 
including cost share, and I would like to thank the chairman of the 
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Mr. Shuster, and the 
ranking minority member, Mr. Oberstar, as well as the chairman of the 
Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, Mr. Boehlert, and the 
ranking minority member, Mr. Borski, for their leadership in this 
regard. The committee staffs worked tirelessly in the spirit of 
cooperation while crafting this measure, and that attitude has clearly 
followed this legislation to the floor, as we are considering it as a 
suspension bill. I hope the rest of the legislative process in regard 
to WRDA moves this swiftly.
  Mr. MINGE. Mr. Speaker, as a cochair of the Congressional Porkbusters 
Coalition and a Member interested in improving the integrity of 
Congress, I am strongly opposed to the method by which earmarked water 
projects were included in the Safe Drinking Water Act. Most, if not 
all, of these projects circumvented established congressional 
procedures and were inserted into the bill by the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure. Congressional districts benefiting 
because a Representative holds a position of influence on a committee 
or has made a special arrangements with a member of the committee is 
simply wrong.
  The American people are fed up with the backroom dealing and horse 
trading that has characterized congressional politics to this day. The 
time has come to bring fairness and objectivity to the authorization 
and appropriation processes. If a Member of Congress believes that a 
project should be funded in their district, then let us hold open, 
public hearings on that project. We can hear about the merits of the 
project and why American taxpayers should shell out their hard-earned 
dollars to pay for it. Let us apply objective criteria to the numerous 
projects that seek funding in order to create a prioritized list. We 
then can match our priorities against our limited Federal resources and 
make fair, impartial decisions as to which projects should be funded.
  Mr. Speaker, I share your concern for eliminating the deficit and 
balancing the budget. To do both, many difficult decisions must be 
made. One of the easiest decisions, however, should be to eliminate 
earmarked projects that have not passed the scrutiny of established 
Congressional procedures and competitive selection processes. Let us 
begin by opposing these earmarked water projects in the Safe Drinking 
Water Act.
  Mr. FRANKS of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my 
support for the conference report to S. 1316 the Safe Drinking Water 
Act Amendments. The Safe Drinking Water Act was first passed in 1974 to 
protect drinking water supplied by public water systems from harmful 
contaminants. The conference report before us today is commonsense 
legislation that will continue to assure the safety of our drinking 
water.
  Under this conference report State and local authorities can enhance 
the purity of drinking water, and focus resources on those contaminants 
that pose the greatest risk to human health. Local water systems will 
no longer have to test for contaminants that have never been detected 
in their water supply.
  Also, under this legislation, consumers will be given more 
information about their drinking water than ever before. Under 
provisions in the conference report, water systems will be required to 
mail an annual report to every consumer concerning the levels of 
regulated contaminants.
  This conference report also authorizes $80 million for new studies. 
These studies will examine the health effects of such substances as 
arsenic and sulfate.
  Finally, this conference report will provide State and local water 
authorities with the resources they will need to get the job done. H.R. 
3604 creates a $7.6 billion State revolving fund. This fund will 
provide direct grants and loans for compliance activities, enhancement 
of water system capacities, operator training, and development of 
solutions to source water pollution.
  Mr. Speaker, the public deserves to feel confident that the water 
they drink is safe. The conference report to S. 1316 accomplishes this. 
It is commonsense legislation that improves the current drinking water 
standards, while at the same time lowering costs to water authorities. 
I would encourage my colleagues to support passage of the conference 
report so that we may enact meaningful reform of our safe drinking 
water laws. Thank you, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WALKER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the conference 
report on S. 1316, the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments. The Science 
Committee was given conferees on the drinking water research provision 
in the House and Senate bills. I would like to thank the Science 
Committee conferees, Congressman Rohrabacher, and Congressman Roemer, 
for their help and support during conference.
  The bill as agreed to in conference includes numerous important 
research provisions. The bill authorizes $26.6 million for safe 
drinking water research each year for fiscal year 1997 through fiscal 
year 2003. This authorization is intended to enable the Environmental 
Protection Agency's [EPA] Office of Research and Development [ORD] to 
continue its Drinking Water Research Program.
  The conference report further authorizes an additional $10 million a 
year from the new drinking water State revolving loan fund [SRLF] for 
health effects research on contaminants in drinking water such as 
cryptosporidium, disinfection byproducts, and for the implementation of 
a plan for research on subpopulations at greater risk. This $10 million 
is new money derived from the SRLF and should boost ORD's ability to 
conduct priority research on drinking water contaminants.
  The conference report also includes $2.5 million per year for fiscal 
year 1997 through fiscal year 2000 for research on arsenic. Finally, 
the report contains $12.5 million a year for 7 years to develop a 
research plan and conduct research on harmful substances in drinking 
water.
  Along with these important research authorizations, the conference 
report includes an important new research review requirement which 
should help ensure that the drinking water research conducted by EPA is 
of the

[[Page H9875]]

highest quality. Section 202, Scientific Research Review, requires the 
Administrator of EPA to develop a strategic plan for drinking water 
research. It also requires the Administrator to review all drinking 
water research conducted by the Agency to ensure it is not duplicative 
and of the highest quality. This provision is similar to the research 
review requirement passed by the House earlier this year as part of 
H.R. 3322, the Omnibus Civilian Science Authorization Act of 1996.
  Mr. Speaker, I support the conference report accompanying S. 1316, 
and I encourage my colleagues to vote for its passage.
  Mrs. LINCOLN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this 
bipartisan and bicameral agreement to modify and strengthen the Safe 
Drinking Water Act. I applaud the conferees for working together on 
such a short timeframe and delivering a good compromise bill.
  Getting a final agreement on this issue has taken nearly 3 years. I 
remember working with my colleagues last Congress on issues that 
continued to be the sticking points again this Congress. I'm so 
relieved that we have reached consensus on these major issues of 
contention.
  My main interest throughout this debate has been to create a more 
flexible regulatory approach that protects our Nation's drinking water 
without wasting valuable financial and human resources. I come from an 
extremely rural area where most people obtain their drinking water from 
private wells or small water systems. Most of these small water systems 
operate on a tight budget with only one employee operating the system. 
If these small systems are forced to monitor for contaminants that do 
not exist in their watershed or are compelled to comply with other 
regulations primarily aimed at protecting drinking water from large 
systems, they must divert valuable dollars that could be better used in 
addressing problems unique to the specific system. This bill recognizes 
that small systems are inherently different from larger systems and 
often have different needs in maintaining compliance with the drinking 
water standards.
  In particular, S. 1316 relieves onerous and excessive monitoring 
requirements, establishes the development of small system technologies, 
provides money for the rural water technical assistance and circuit 
rider program, creates a State revolving fund to provide needed capital 
to upgrade and build systems and realigns standard setting criteria to 
take into consideration sound science and cost/benefit analysis. 
However, this bill does not only ease burdensome Federal requirements, 
but it also requires the implementation of new obligations. For 
example, S. 1316 mandates the establishment of State capacity 
development and State operator certification programs. While these 
programs will ensure that our water systems are well operated and in 
compliance with the act, it does compel States and systems to go that 
extra mile in evaluating the health of their drinking water.
  S. 1316 is widely supported--from the environmentalists to the 
Governors--and I want to urge my colleagues to support this commonsense 
bill.
  Mr. WHITE. Mr. Speaker, all of us want to make sure that the food we 
eat and the water we drink is clean and safe. That's why I am proud to 
support a safe drinking water bill that will help make sure we are 
doing the best job possible to keep our drinking water supplies clean.
  Today, as we vote on the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996, we are 
showing the American people all the good that can result when Congress 
works together to get something done.
  But this bill is about more than just getting something done. Rather, 
it is a perfect example of how updating our environmental laws and 
reducing regulatory hurdles can result in better environmental 
protection. I believe this bill represents what this Congress is all 
about--making Government work better by giving local governments more 
flexibility to make their own decisions.
  I truly believe that given the opportunity, local governments, not 
Federal bureaucrats, are better able to determine the needs and 
priorities of their own communities. The SDWA gives States more 
flexibility and does away with the one-size-fits-all approach that is 
prohibiting some local governments from using new technologies to 
manage their water supplies.
  A perfect example of why we need greater flexibility can be found in 
the Puget Sound region--which includes a large part of my district.
  Most of my constituents get their water supply from the Cedar River 
Watershed which is run and protected by the city of Seattle. As debate 
over the SDWA began, I sought input from the city of Seattle and others 
to determine how we could develop a bill that will result in stronger 
protection and more flexibility.
  The bill we will pass accomplishes both those goals.
  Under the current SDWA, which was originally signed into law in 1974 
by President Ford, the city of Seattle, and many other larger 
metropolitan cities, do not have the flexibility to determine what type 
of water treatment system to use. Seattle is currently required to use 
the filtration method, even after finding that ozonation can provide a 
greater degree of protection at a lower cost.
  Under this bill, the city of Seattle and many other cities would be 
able to use alternative treatments to filtration--providing that the 
alternative is better able to protect the safety of our public water 
supply and that it receives approval by the Environmental Protection 
Agency.
  The city believes that the ozonation method better meets its water 
quality objectives. The ozonation treatment is more effective in 
neutralizing the pathogens especially cryptosporidium and giardia which 
are commonly found in surface water supplies. For Seattle, the 
filtration technology would inactivate 99.9 percent of cryptosporidium, 
but ozonation could be effectively designed to inactive up to 99.999 
percent, providing a higher level of public health protection. In 
addition, it is considerably less expensive than filtration and is 
believed to be the next up and coming technology for ensuring safe and 
clean drinking water.
  In addition to giving local governments more flexibility, this bill 
will also accomplish some very important goals: First, focusing on the 
most serious risks to human health, second, requiring that an annual 
water quality report be sent to consumers, and third, speeding up the 
public notification process for violations.
  Before closing today, I would like to thank Chairman Bliley, Chairman 
Bilirakas, Mr. Dingell, and Mr. Waxman for all their work to put 
together a bipartisan bill that will go a long way in protecting the 
water we all drink.
  Mr. BILBRAY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this 
progressive and bipartisan bill, which will have an enormously 
beneficial effect on the health and environment of the American people. 
As a conferee on this landmark legislation, I can tell you that this 
conference report on the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA] marks a major 
shift away from the regulatory status quo of placing undue value and 
emphasis on the regulation itself, toward what the practical effect of 
the regulation actually is on the public health and our natural 
resources. This is as it should be.
  It is this kind of outcome-driven and science-based environmental 
policy setting that I have been proud to be a part of in this Congress. 
This is the kind of process in which I was used to operating during my 
time in local government, and the results of this cooperative and 
effective policy making which we see here today will allow us to better 
serve the public health needs of the American people.
  It has been a privilege for me to have been able to play a close role 
in strengthening and improving such an important statute as the SDWA. 
These amendments will provide for sensible and much-needed reforms in 
how the SDWA is implemented.
  H.R. 3604 will help to refocus EPA's priorities and resources toward 
those contaminants which present the greatest and most immediate threat 
to public health, provide EPA and local water authorities with greater 
flexibility in implementing the improved SDWA law, and place new 
emphasis on ensuring that public water systems have the necessary 
technical, managerial, and financial resources available to comply with 
the SDWA.
  Mr. Speaker, this also marks a significant achievement in our ability 
to recognize and address flaws or gaps in our existing environmental or 
public health strategies. Laws such as the SDWA were clearly well-meant 
at the time of their inception in this case, the 1972-era SDWA has not 
been reauthorized since 1986.
  However, the passage of time invariably exposes weaknesses or 
shortcomings in the strongest of our statutes, and we need to recognize 
and respond to this. In the past, it has often been easier to confront 
problems by simply blaming a law, instead of working together to 
determine whether the law in question is being properly implemented, or 
whether it is still effective in serving its intended purpose. These 
laws need to be as dynamic and flexible as the rapidly changing 
environments we intend for them to protect, and the people who live in 
them.
  This means that occasionally such laws must be reexamined and 
renewed, in order to ensure that their original goals are still being 
achieved.
  I have always believed that we ought not to cling to the conventional 
wisdom that our public health and environmental laws are set in stone, 
and incapable of being improved with the application of new knowledge. 
In order to maintain their effectiveness, we have the responsibility to 
see to it that when modern science and technology can be applied to 
improve these laws, we take the appropriate action to do so.
  Many of our crown jewel environmental laws were written over 20 years 
ago, and it is incumbent upon us to make these needed improvements when 
necessary. With this comprehensive reauthorization, this Congress 
accomplishes a challenging but long-

[[Page H9876]]

unachievable task on behalf of all of our constituents nationwide. I 
want to commend my Chairmen, Mr. Biley and Mr. Bilirakis, and my other 
colleagues who worked hard together, in a bipartisan manner, to help 
make this happen.
  In addition to the sound science-based foundation of this bill, I am 
particularly proud of section 305 of the bill, which addresses health 
standards for bottled water. Section 305 is a refinement of legislation 
(H.R. 2601) which I introduced earlier in this Congress. My language 
will simply require that any EPA regulation which sets a maximum 
containment level for tap water, and any FDA regulation setting a 
standard of quality for bottled water for the same contaminant, take 
effect at the same time. If the FDA does not promulgate a regulation 
within a realistic time frame as established by section 305, the 
regulation established by the EPA for that element in tap water will be 
considered the applicable regulation for the same element in bottled 
water. This will provide consumers with the health assurances that the 
water they can purchase off the shelf meets at least the same standards 
as their tap water. I have a letter from the International Bottled 
Water Association which elaborates on the benefits of this provision, 
which I would like entered in the record.
  Mr. Speaker, I'd like to conclude with an observation. In my hometown 
of San Diego, my family and my constituents are very fortunate to 
already enjoy an extremely high standard of quality in our drinking 
water; in fact a recent study by a national environmental group found 
that water systems in the San Diego region reported zero health 
advisories over the last 3 years.
  By comparison, the same study found that an alarmingly high 
percentage of water systems in some regions of the country, including 
Washington DC had reported health advisories or compliance failures 
during the same time period. The Safe Drinking Water Act amendments we 
will pass today, and which will soon be signed into law, will 
strengthen and improve the weak links in the existing statute, and in 
so doing will help bring these high levels of health and environmental 
quality which we appreciate in San Diego to other communities 
nationwide.
  Again, and I can't emphasize it enough, this is a progressive step 
forward, away from a 1970's-era process which places higher value on 
process and regulation itself, towards a more responsible and outcome-
based approach which focuses on the product that is generated.
  This will help us reinforce our common goals of better serving the 
public health needs of the American people, and providing us with a 
cleaner and safer overall environment, which is something we ought to 
be ever mindful of, and never not take for granted.

                                             International Bottled


                                            Water Association,

                                    Alexandria, VA, June 25, 1996.
     Hon. Brian Bilbray,
     Longworth House Office Building, U.S. House of 
         Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Rep. Bilbray: The International Bottled Water 
     Association, which represents over 85 percent of all bottled 
     water sold in the United States, would like to thank you for 
     your help in drafting the bottled water provision of the Safe 
     Drinking Water Act legislation. We are also grateful to the 
     committee staff who developed this improved version of the 
     Senate bottled water provision in cooperation with your 
     legislative director, Dave Schroeder.
       Our industry strongly supports the principal objective of 
     this provision, i.e., to require that any EPA regulation 
     setting a maximum contaminant level for tap water and any FDA 
     regulation setting a standard of quality for bottled water 
     for the same contaminant take effect at the same time.
       One in six households relies on bottled water as their 
     source of drinking water. There are 430 companies producing 
     bottled water in the United States with annual sales 
     estimated at $3.4 billion, making bottled water one of the 
     fastest growing segments of the beverage industry.
       Bottled water is regulated by the FDA, the states and 
     through IBWA's own model code. The bottled water provision 
     will ensure that a FDA standard for a contaminant in bottled 
     water is set in a timely manner and is no less protective of 
     the public health than the EPA regulation for the same 
     contaminant in tap water.
       We look forward to seeing the Safe Drinking Water Act 
     legislation signed into law this year. Thank you.
           Sincerely,
                                                Sylvia E. Swanson,
                                         Executive Vice President.
   Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time, and I move the 
previous question on the conference report.
  The previous question was ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Taylor of North Carolina). The question 
is on the conference report.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I object to the vote on the ground that a 
quorum is not present and make the point of order that a quorum is not 
present.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Evidently a quorum is not present.
  The Sergeant at Arms will notify absent Members.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 392, 
nays 30, not voting 11, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 399]

                               YEAS--392

     Ackerman
     Allard
     Andrews
     Archer
     Armey
     Bachus
     Baesler
     Baker (CA)
     Baker (LA)
     Baldacci
     Ballenger
     Barcia
     Barr
     Barrett (NE)
     Barrett (WI)
     Bartlett
     Barton
     Bass
     Bateman
     Becerra
     Bentsen
     Bereuter
     Bevill
     Bilbray
     Bilirakis
     Bliley
     Blumenauer
     Blute
     Boehlert
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bonior
     Bono
     Borski
     Boucher
     Brewster
     Browder
     Brown (CA)
     Brown (FL)
     Brown (OH)
     Bryant (TN)
     Bryant (TX)
     Bunn
     Bunning
     Burr
     Burton
     Buyer
     Callahan
     Calvert
     Camp
     Campbell
     Canady
     Cardin
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chambliss
     Chapman
     Christensen
     Chrysler
     Clay
     Clayton
     Clement
     Clinger
     Coble
     Coburn
     Collins (GA)
     Collins (IL)
     Combest
     Condit
     Cooley
     Costello
     Cox
     Coyne
     Cramer
     Crane
     Crapo
     Cremeans
     Cubin
     Cummings
     Cunningham
     Danner
     Davis
     de la Garza
     Deal
     DeFazio
     DeLauro
     DeLay
     Diaz-Balart
     Dicks
     Doggett
     Dooley
     Doolittle
     Dornan
     Doyle
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Dunn
     Durbin
     Edwards
     Ehlers
     Ehrlich
     Engel
     English
     Ensign
     Everett
     Ewing
     Farr
     Fattah
     Fawell
     Fazio
     Fields (LA)
     Fields (TX)
     Filner
     Flake
     Flanagan
     Foglietta
     Foley
     Forbes
     Fowler
     Fox
     Frank (MA)
     Franks (CT)
     Franks (NJ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Frisa
     Frost
     Funderburk
     Furse
     Gallegly
     Ganske
     Gejdenson
     Gekas
     Gephardt
     Geren
     Gibbons
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gilman
     Gonzalez
     Goodlatte
     Goodling
     Gordon
     Goss
     Graham
     Green (TX)
     Greene (UT)
     Greenwood
     Gunderson
     Gutierrez
     Gutknecht
     Hall (OH)
     Hall (TX)
     Hamilton
     Hancock
     Hansen
     Harman
     Hastert
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Hefner
     Heineman
     Herger
     Hilleary
     Hinchey
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Hoke
     Holden
     Horn
     Hostettler
     Houghton
     Hoyer
     Hunter
     Hutchinson
     Hyde
     Inglis
     Istook
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jacobs
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson (SD)
     Johnson, Sam
     Johnston
     Jones
     Kanjorski
     Kasich
     Kelly
     Kennedy (MA)
     Kennedy (RI)
     Kennelly
     Kildee
     Kim
     King
     Kingston
     Kleczka
     Klug
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     LaFalce
     LaHood
     Lantos
     Largent
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Laughlin
     Lazio
     Leach
     Levin
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Lightfoot
     Linder
     Lipinski
     Livingston
     LoBiondo
     Lofgren
     Longley
     Lowey
     Lucas
     Luther
     Maloney
     Manton
     Manzullo
     Martinez
     Martini
     Mascara
     Matsui
     McCarthy
     McCollum
     McCrery
     McHale
     McHugh
     McInnis
     McIntosh
     McKeon
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Menendez
     Metcalf
     Meyers
     Mica
     Millender-McDonald
     Miller (FL)
     Minge
     Mink
     Moakley
     Molinari
     Mollohan
     Montgomery
     Moorhead
     Moran
     Morella
     Murtha
     Myers
     Myrick
     Nadler
     Neal
     Nethercutt
     Neumann
     Ney
     Norwood
     Nussle
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Orton
     Owens
     Oxley
     Packard
     Pallone
     Parker
     Pastor
     Paxon
     Payne (VA)
     Peterson (FL)
     Peterson (MN)
     Petri
     Pickett
     Pombo
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Portman
     Poshard
     Pryce
     Quillen
     Quinn
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Ramstad
     Rangel
     Reed
     Regula
     Richardson
     Riggs
     Rivers
     Roberts
     Roemer
     Rogers
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Rose
     Roth
     Roukema
     Roybal-Allard
     Royce
     Rush
     Sabo
     Salmon
     Sanders
     Sanford
     Sawyer
     Saxton
     Scarborough
     Schaefer
     Schiff
     Schroeder
     Scott
     Seastrand
     Sensenbrenner
     Serrano
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Shays
     Shuster
     Sisisky
     Skaggs
     Skeen
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Smith (WA)
     Solomon
     Souder
     Spence
     Spratt
     Stark
     Stearns
     Stenholm
     Stockman
     Stokes
     Studds
     Stump
     Talent
     Tanner
     Tate
     Tauzin
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Tejeda
     Thomas
     Thompson
     Thornberry
     Thornton
     Thurman
     Tiahrt
     Torkildsen
     Torres
     Torricelli
     Towns
     Traficant
     Upton
     Vento
     Visclosky
     Volkmer
     Vucanovich
     Walker
     Walsh
     Wamp
     Ward
     Watt (NC)
     Watts (OK)
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     White
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Williams
     Wilson
     Wise

[[Page H9877]]


     Wolf
     Woolsey
     Yates
     Young (AK)
     Zeliff
     Zimmer

                                NAYS--30

     Abercrombie
     Beilenson
     Berman
     Clyburn
     Coleman
     Collins (MI)
     Dellums
     Deutsch
     Dingell
     Dixon
     Eshoo
     Evans
     Hastings (FL)
     Hilliard
     Jefferson
     Johnson, E. B.
     Klink
     Lewis (GA)
     Markey
     McDermott
     McKinney
     Meek
     Miller (CA)
     Payne (NJ)
     Pelosi
     Stupak
     Velazquez
     Waters
     Waxman
     Wynn

                             NOT VOTING--11

     Bishop
     Brownback
     Chenoweth
     Conyers
     Dickey
     Ford
     Kaptur
     Lincoln
     McDade
     Schumer
     Young (FL)

                              {time}  1332

  Mr. LEWIS of Georgia and Mr. PAYNE of New Jersey changed their vote 
from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
  Messrs. FATTAH, MEEHAN, BECERRA, SANFORD, LUTHER, Ms. RIVERS, Mrs. 
MINK of Hawaii, and Mrs. MALONEY changed their vote from ``nay'' to 
``yea.''
  So the conference report was agreed to.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________