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KWA urges Congress to consider all consequences of Clean Water Restoration Act

Kansas

The Kansas Water Authority urges Congress to avoid unintended consequences as it considers passage of the Clean Water Restoration Act. The proposed legislation has a seemingly noble intent--restoration of the Clean Water Act to levels that were in place before several judicial opinions limited water bodies subject to enforcement actions under the Act.

In its letter to the members of the Kansas Congressional delegation, the Authority explained that the proposed federal measure would unnecessarily expand the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. The measure overrides state law and potentially would expose more citizens to federal and private legal intervention. Kansas, thanks to existing state regulations, does not need additional authority should a pollution problem arise.

"We feel there are sufficient authorities and safeguards under Kansas law to protect our water resources," says Steve Irsik of Ingalls, Chair of the Kansas Water Authority. "A broad-brush expansion of federal jurisdiction on Kansas waterways is unnecessary, onerous, and costly."

"We recognize that the current jurisdictional issues in the Clean Water Act caused by judicial decisions this decade must be resolved," Irsik says. "We ask that the corrective action be well reasoned and without detriment to Kansans."

The 24-member Kansas Water Authority, composed of appointed citizens and heads of the Kansas agencies, provides advice to the Governor and the Kansas Legislature on Kansas' water resources.

The Authority helps set water priorities and policy through development of the Kansas Water Plan.



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