Sen. Carper Praises Bipartisan Vote for Chemical Spill Bill in EPW Committee

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Environment & Public Works’ Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, released the following statement after the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee approved a wide variety of bills that address several issues, including the prevention of chemical spills, protecting safe drinking water, water resources and wildlife conservation and the cleanup of brownfield sites.

“I am very pleased that we were able to pass this bipartisan measure today to help protect the public from tragic chemical spills like the one we saw in West Virginia earlier this year. As a native West Virginian with family in the area who were affected by the contamination, I was deeply troubled by the incident itself, as well as the inadequate response. I want to thank Senator Manchin for authoring this legislation that will require states and water facilities to implement greater safety measures and develop emergency response plans. I am relieved that we are learning from this incident and putting in place some important measures to reduce the likelihood of this type of incident occurring again in West Virginia, Delaware or anywhere else in the United States.  Beyond working to prevent these types of incidents, this legislation will also improve our response in the event of a spill.

“It is a testament to Chairman Boxer’s focused and determined leadership on this issue that we were able to pass a bipartisan legislative response so soon after the West Virginia spill. The fact that Senators Boxer and Vitter were able to find common ground on this issue is very encouraging, and it is my sincere hope that we can continue to work together in a similar fashion on other critical issues before this Committee. Finding common ground is never easy, and often requires compromise from everyone, but I believe that it also often leads to the best outcome.

“I also welcomed the opportunity to vote for several other pieces of legislation to help restore, protect, and improve our critical estuaries and habitat, invest in remediation and redevelopment of polluted brownfield sites, and ensure that Americans have access to recreation opportunities on lands and waterways owned by the Army Corps of Engineers. I am hopeful that this spirit of bipartisanship will continue to infect this committee as we move forward with critical work to strengthen our economy and protect our environment.”