Sam Johnson Introduces Water Bill to Bypass EPA, Allow Local Reservoir to Proceed Immediately
WASHINGTON, D.C. – To coincide with Texas Water Day, U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (TX-03) introduced the North Texas Reservoir Approval Act (H.R. 4466). This bill would provide additional water that is in demand due to significant population growth in North Texas. Specifically, H.R. 4466 would exempt the Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir from the Clean Water Act so that the project can proceed immediately. At the current rate of projected population growth, by 2020 Collin County will not have enough water to meet demand without this reservoir. To avoid a lag in resources, this project must move forward immediately given the time required to construct and fill the Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir, and that is exactly what Johnson’s bill would do.
Shortly before introducing the North Texas Reservoir Approval Act, Johnson attended the annual Texas Water Day event at the U.S. Capitol where he delivered the following remarks:
“Happy Texas Water Day! It’s great to be here this morning with y’all!
“Water – or lack thereof – is something Texans know all about. We all know that Texas had record rainfall last summer. And because our lakes are finally full for the first time in years, drought and water rationing may not be the first thing on people’s minds. But folks know our weather can change at the drop of a hat.
“That is why, for several years now, I’ve been hard at work to ensure North Texas has reliable, clean water. You see, North Texas is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation with a thriving business community. It’s a blessing, to be sure! It’s a great place to live! But a growing population means that growing resources are also needed.
“Unfortunately, North Texas is facing one of the most critical water supply situations in our country today. We’re going to have more people than our water resources can support. And rationing water is a near certainty…especially if things don’t change now.
“This isn’t for lack of effort. In fact, I’ve been working alongside the North Texas Municipal Water District for several years to bring online the Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir. This reservoir would provide water for our community for years to come. However, the EPA has not been willing to play ball. I’m sure that comes as no surprise!
“The Administration has run down the clock. We’ve played by the rules, but North Texans are out of time. Water is absolutely critical, and I can assure you that my full attention is on this issue.
“That’s why I’m proud to announce that today I will be introducing the North Texas Reservoir Approval Act. This bill will exempt the Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir from the Clean Water Act – essentially bypassing the EPA and allowing construction of this vital reservoir to proceed immediately. Enough is enough.
“Now I realize that getting this bill passed won’t be easy. But I want to assure you that I’m committed to ensuring that this new reservoir is approved. Clean water is something ALL Americans want, need, and deserve. PERIOD.
“God bless y’all. God bless Texas. And God bless America. I salute you.”