HR 2328 -- 04/12/2000

April 12, 2000

H.R. 2328 - Clean Lakes Program Reauthorization
(Sweeney (R) NY and six others)

The Administration has concerns about H.R. 2328. Specifically, the bill is unnecessary and would limit the flexibility of States and Tribes to address their clean water concerns. H.R. 2328 would authorize appropriations for section 314 of the Clean Water Act, which provides financial and technical assistance to States to restore publicly-owned lakes. These projects however, are already eligible for funding under the Clean Water non-point source pollution control grant program and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Both of these funding sources allow States and Tribes to address their highest clean water priorities, whether they be lakes or other water bodies. Since 1995, when the Administration and Congress agreed to terminate the Clean Lakes program, EPA has allowed these activities to be funded under the non-point source grant program, which has increased from $105 million in FY 1998 to $250 million in the FY 2001 request. This funding approach works well and provides more money for lakes than provided at the end of the Clean Lakes program.

Further, the Administration would prefer that changes to the Clean Water Act be made in a comprehensive way, so that the highest priority problems can be addressed. These priorities include: addressing the problems caused by the Tulloch wetlands decision; reauthorizing the Clean Water State Revolving Fund; and addressing nonpoint sources of pollution more comprehensively.