July 18, 2018

Duckworth Meets with Council on Environmental Quality Nominee Mary Neumayr


[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today met with Mary Neumayr, designee to be chair of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) if confirmed by the Senate. Duckworth and Neumayr discussed the deficiencies of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the urgent need to strengthen the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) to better protect the public from neurotoxins and other water contaminants. As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Duckworth will participate in Neumyr’s confirmation hearing tomorrow. A photograph of the meeting is available here.

"Given the former EPA Administrator’s reckless efforts to undermine critical environmental protections, it is critical that members of the CEQ share my commitment to modernizing the LCR and helping ensure clean drinking water for all American families and children,” Duckworth said. “Today, I shared my concerns with Ms. Neumayr about the Trump Administration’s erosion of important policies and its failure to take swift action to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act. If confirmed, I am hopeful Ms. Neumayr will choose science over polluter interests and pocketbooks and join me in this fight to eliminate lead contamination once and for all.”

Established by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), CEQ plays a significant role in environmental protection by working to coordinate policy across the federal agencies on natural resources, energy and the environment. Duckworth has been outspoken about the need to address failures in our public water systems and has introduced several pieces of legislation on lead in America's drinking water. She introduced the National Opportunity for Lead Exposure Accountability and Deterrence (NO LEAD) Act of 2017 to protect clean drinking water by helping guide the EPA review of the LCR to make lead testing reports more comprehensive and ensure reports are easily available to the public.

Just last week, Duckworth joined U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) to introduce the Containment and Lead Electronic Accounting and Reporting Requirements (CLEARR) for Drinking Water Act, which would authorize more than $1 billion in federal funding to help small and disadvantaged communities replace contaminated water infrastructure to comply with Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. In 2017, Duckworth and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced the Get the Lead Out of Schools Act, which would ensure periodic testing for lead contamination in schools, while also providing schools with additional resources to monitor lead levels and replace outdated water infrastructure systems.

Duckworth has also been critical of the Trump Administration's efforts to roll back drinking water protections and vocal about the need to strengthen initiatives to prevent lead contamination.