What follows is a brief status report of some of the more notable environmental -- and
anti-environmental -- bills voted on by the 104th Congress before its August recess.
Although it contains funding shortfalls for community water system upgrades, the Safe
Drinking Water bill, S. 1316, signed into law by President Clinton, does include
implementation of strong Right to Know provisions.
Nuclear Waste Transport
H.R. 1020 would mandate that high level nuclear waste be dumped in Yucca Mountain, Nev.
It would override most state and federal environmental laws, set low health standards for
exposure to such waste and require thousands of truck and train loads of nuclear fuel rods
to traverse U.S. highways. The Senate's vote for the companion bill, S. 1936, failed to
attain a veto-proof majority. President Clinton has promised to veto the bill if it
reaches his desk. Urge your representative to oppose the bill and protect public health.
The misnamed International Dolphin Conservation Program Act (H.R. 2823) passed the
House at the urging of the Clinton Administration and several environmental groups and
allows tuna labeled "dolphinsafe" to be caught in nets as long as "no
dolphin deaths are observed." The Sierra Club opposed this bill because it weakens
dolphin protections by lifting the embargo on imported tuna caught by dolphin-encircling
techniques. Urge your senator to vote no on its Senate version, S. 1420, and support Sen.
Boxer's (D-Calif.) alternative bill that maintains strong standards for the
"dolphin-safe" tuna label.
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