WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Thursday introduced the Public Water Supply Invasive Species Compliance Act. The bill would provide certainty to water agencies who supply water to Americans in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, by ensuring that interstate water transfers between the three states are not shutdown as a result of the Lacey Act, which affects trade in wildlife, fish, or plants across state lines.
“Water supply is crucial to the future of Texas,” Sen. Cruz said. “Unfortunately, Texas water interests have faced uncertainty due to overly burdensome federal regulation. With this bill, water agencies who supply water to Texas will now have the confidence and clarity to continue providing water without interruption from Washington bureaucrats.”
“For too long, water providers have had to deal with uncertainty about whether the Fish and Wildlife Service would prohibit them from providing water for Texans’ use,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This legislation will end the guessing game for local agencies by providing an exemption to the Lacey Act to ensure Texans have a reliable water supply.”
The bill is cosponsored by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.). Sen. Cruz also introduced S. 789, The Public Water Supply Invasive Species Act in the 115th Congress. The current version builds upon the previously introduced version by ensuring that appropriate actions are taken by the relevant water agencies before water transfers happen. This includes:
- Notifying the recipient so that they can take adaptive measures in order to minimize and/or mitigate the impacts of invasive species water transfers.
- Making the water transfer conditional upon implementation of effective mitigation measures should an invasive species be found.