Congressman Al Green: INVEST in America Infrastructure Package Passes House with Green Amendment Requiring a National Drinking Water Standard for Chromium-6, Funding for Local Infrastructure Projects

Jul 1, 2021 Issues: Transportation

(Washington, DC) — On Thursday, July 1, 2021, Congressman Al Green released the following statement on the passage of the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act in the U.S. House of Representatives:

Background:

Chromium-6 is a naturally-occurring chemical, most prevalent as a byproduct of industrial processes.  Exposure to this harmful agent can cause reactions as mild as skin irritation or lesions, or as life-threatening as ulcers, damage to the kidneys, liver, as well as circulatory and nervous tissue, or cancer. Chromium-6 is a nationwide problem, with estimates of more than 200 million Americans potentially exposed to unsafe levels of the chemical according to the Environmental Working Group. Public health officials and scientists have indicated that health risks caused by chromium-6 exposure begin to increase at levels that exceed 0.02 parts per billion. Drinking water in certain neighborhoods of Alief in Houston, Texas, have tested as high as 6.7 parts per billion – more than 300 times the threshold.

Congressman Al Green said in a statement, “Since 2016, I have insisted on environmental justice for my Alief constituents who have been affected by alarming levels of chromium-6 in their drinking water supply. There has not been a safe drinking water standard for this known carcinogen. In 2019, I and 11 of my colleagues wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling on the agency to establish a safe drinking water standard for chromium-6.”

Congressman Green continued, “Now – nearly two years since our letter to the EPA and under a new administration – the House has passed the INVEST in America Act, including my amendment which requires the EPA to establish a national primary drinking water regulation for chromium-6. The regulatory requirement must be established no later than two years from the date of the law’s enactment. I submitted this amendment, keeping at the forefront of my mind the constituents I proudly serve in Alief, Houston, Texas, as well as a total of more than 200 million Americans potentially exposed to unsafe levels of chromium-6.”

“The INVEST in America Act also allocates funding for projects advocated for by Members of Congress. I am eager to announce that all three of the projects my congressional office submitted for consideration have been included for funding in the bill passed by the House. These projects include: $11 million for Fondren Road Reconstruction with Transit and Pedestrian Enhancements; $5 million for Missouri City/Beltway 8 Transit Facility; and $4 million for Meadowglen West Complete Street Project. That is a total of approximately $20 million coming to my congressional district for infrastructure. These projects will improve the everyday lives of my constituents, making it easier and safer for them to traverse their communities.”

Congressman Green concluded, saying, “I thank my colleagues for their support in passing my amendment to the INVEST in America Act, and I am honored that the amendment, as well as the overall bill, have passed the full House. I am also pleased that the Biden-Harris administration has prioritized infrastructure and I look forward to the improvements and opportunities these dollars will bring to my congressional district if enacted. Now, the Senate must do its part by passing this comprehensive infrastructure package and getting it to the President’s desk for a signature.”