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Kind Statement Regarding National Academy of Sciences Report on Mississippi River Water Quality

October 16, 2007
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, founder and co-chair of the Upper Mississippi Basin River Task Force today made the following statement in response to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, Mississippi River Water Quality and the Clean Water Act: Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities:

“While we have made some progress in decreasing pollution and restoring habitat in the Mississippi River, the Environmental Protection Agency clearly needs to make the health of the river a greater priority, and work alongside states in better regulating the sediment and nutrient flow that poses a very serious threat to the long-term health of the entire river system – and therefore human health, our economy, and the quality of life we enjoy in the Mississippi River Valley.

“Among its recommendations, NAS calls for developing a coordinated effort in tracking pollution from non-point sources. The Upper Mississippi River Basin Protection Act (HR 2381) – legislation I authored and that recently passed the House – would develop a public-private approach to understanding and reducing nutrient and sediment loss in the river basin. The effective, basin-wide, and non-regulatory approach supports the recommendations made in the NAS report, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take quick action on it.

“In addition, NAS calls for increased funding for voluntary U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs, something I agree must be a major component of the next Farm Bill. Right now three out of every four farmers who apply for funding are turned away, and increased funding would allow more farmers to participate in programs that promote and reward practices that reduce runoff from farms into the river. That’s why earlier this year I lead an effort to increase conservation dollars by $3.5 billion in the 2006 House Farm Bill.

“The importance of this river to the health of this nation cannot be overemphasized. I commend the National Academy of Sciences for this eye-opening report, and will continue to work to find effective and balanced solutions to foster sustainable development on the Mississippi.”

For more information on the report, go to: https://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12051.

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