Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today reintroduced the Drinking Water Protection Act, legislation to help protect drinking water from cyanotoxins caused by harmful algal blooms. This legislation, which he also sponsored in the 113th Congress, requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and submit a strategic plan to Congress for assessing and managing the risks associated with cyanotoxins in drinking water.

“In addressing the health of our drinking water, we must take a thoughtful, robust approach,” said Latta. “The Drinking Water Protection Act takes into account insight and testimony from key stakeholders at the local, state and federal level and fosters continued, ongoing coordination among the agencies involved. It also requires the EPA to develop a strategic plan for assessing and managing the risks associated with cyanotoxins in our drinking water and establishes attainable timelines that will ensure the health of our drinking water in a timely manner. I look forward to continuing to work with the leadership in the House, as well as my colleagues in the Senate, to move this legislation forward.”

Latta introduced the Drinking Water Protection Act following a hearing that the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment and the Economy Subcommittee held in November at his request to examine cyanotoxins in drinking water, as well as solutions to address the problem. The legislation directs the EPA to formulate a plan, including the necessary steps and timelines to fully evaluate the health risks of cyanotoxins, publish a comprehensive list of potentially harmful cyanotoxins, as well as advisories and feasible testing and treatment options, and provide additional guidance and technical assistance to states to help mitigate risks to drinking water systems. A copy of the legislation can be found here.