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Bill passes Senate Committee

By Staff | Aug 12, 2009

To the editor,

On Aug. 5, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation passed the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2009. This is the same bill we wrote to you about earlier this year.

This legislation would develop and promote a comprehensive plan for a national strategy to address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia (inadequate oxygen levels in the water) through baseline research, forecasting, and monitoring. The bill will also help communities detect, control and mitigate coastal and Great Lakes harmful algal blooms and hypoxia events.

According to the Committee staff, there were minor changes from the original bill. The next stop is the full U.S. Senate, which we hope will take place soon after Congress returns following Labor Day. At the staff’s request, PURRE submitted letters of support for this legislation to Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Bill Nelson (D-Florida).

There is still no companion bill in the House. We will keep you posted as this legislation moves forward.

Dan Wexler

PURRE Public Policy Director