Since coming to Congress, I have been an outspoken supporter of policies that protect our environment. As my family will tell you, when I am home I can most often be found watching the National Geographic channel or Planet Earth DVDs. Preserving our public lands, protecting the quality of our air and water, and developing sustainably are vital to preserve our planet for grandchildren and their grandchildren.
Since 1970, the Clean Air Act has reduced key air pollutants by 60%, while at the same time the economy grew by over 200%. Too often we take the very air we breathe for granted. We are responsible for the condition and quality of the air that we leave for our children and grandchildren who will inherit this world after us. I was proud to be one of over 89 Members of the House to sign a letter to House leadership asking them to protect the Clean Air Act, and will continue to support efforts to protect our air quality.
Clean water is a necessary resource used by all Americans. I believe that our country’s waters should be protected for the wellbeing of Americans and our environment. Although they are out of sight and out of mind except when they spring a leak, water and sewer systems are more vital to civilized society than any other aspect of infrastructure. Our nation’s water infrastructure is out of date and in urgent need of repair and replacement. It is estimated that on average, 25 percent of drinking water leaks from water system pipes before it reaches the faucet.
Green infrastructure can save money and improve our water infrastructure systems. Kansas City is ahead of the curve in incorporating green infrastructure into its water and sewer overflow control plan. That is why last Congress I cosponsored H.R. 2030, the Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act. H.R. 2030 would provide grants to develop green infrastructure centers of excellence to research and develop methods and best practices, provide training and technical assistance so that communities of all sizes and resources can incorporate green infrastructure.
More than 97 percent of the nation’s 160,000 public water systems serve fewer than 10,000 people. These systems face unique challenges in providing affordable drinking water and wastewater services. Many of these systems lack financial resources, long-term planning activities, and the ability to attract qualified and certified operators. Investments in small system infrastructure ensure rural communities have the basic infrastructure to become sustainable and protect the rural economy and public health. Programs such as the Grassroots Source Water Protection Program, the EPA Technical Assistance Competitive Grant Program and the Circuit Rider Program within the EPA and the Department of Agriculture provide training and technical assistance to rural communities to help them properly manage, operate, and maintain their water systems.
Livable Communities & the Green Impact Zone
Every community in America – regardless of its size, geographic location, demographic composition, or economic base -- aspires to become a place where families are safe, enjoy personal and environmental health, can select from a range of housing and transportation choices, and have access to educational and economic opportunities. These are the building blocks of livable communities. I am proud of the work that is being done to make the Green Impact Zone, and Kansas City, livable communities. I support community efforts to promote this sustainable development and efforts in Congress to fund and expand federal programs, such as the Partnership for Sustainable Communities at Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Kansas City has benefited from several Partnership for Sustainable Communities grants, and I will continue to support funding for these programs in Congress. As a member of the Livable Communities Task Force, I have championed smart federal policies that can affect community livability through housing and transportation choices, enhancing economic competitiveness, and reinvest in existing communities. To learn more about the Livable Communities Task Force, click here.
More on Environment
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) released the statement below following the announcement that House Democrats have agreed on a deal to strengthen the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
WASHINGTON – As Kansas City residents continue seeing water and sewer costs rise, U.S Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, have requested the Trump Administration support modifications to the Kansas City sewer overflow control program to help lower costs for Kansas City residents.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II speaks on the House floor about the importance of the 2018 Farm Bill.
(Washington, D.C.) - Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II is pleased to announce that funding has been provided by the U.S. Army Corps’ Fiscal Year 2017 work plan to complete the Blue River Basin/Dodson Levee and the Turkey Creek Basin projects in the Kansas City area.
“This is great news. This was a long standing effort and I’m pleased to help with funding to see these projects reach the finish line,” said Congressman Cleaver.
(Kansas City, MO) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II released the following statement regarding President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement.
“A withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement is short-sighted and a dangerous nod to the National Flat Earth Agency and others who refuse to accept the science that has been embraced by every nation on the planet except war-torn Syria and dictator-driven Nicaragua.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 2016 Water Resources Development Act bill, S.612, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. This bill authorizes water resources development projects to be carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and also authorizes funding to address the Flint water crisis.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-05) calls on House leadership to move forward with protecting and securing homes and businesses from potential flooding by voting on the Water Resources Development Act, (WRDA) H.R. 5303. Congressman Cleaver, along with over 142 House Members, sent a letter to the Speaker Paul Ryan, and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, asking that they bring WRDA for a vote. The letter can be found here. The U.S.
Recently, there have been growing concerns over the Zika virus. I want to keep you updated on the most recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II is pleased to announce that several projects in the Kansas City area are included in the House version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). WRDA legislation authorizes flood control and other water infrastructure projects conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers.