Various media reports indicated Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Pete Domenici plans to drop the controversial MTBE "safe harbor" provision from the Energy Bill. The provision was intended to grant gasoline manufacturers defective product liability immunity in cases of MTBE water contamination.
"Reports that Chairman Domenici plans to drop the MTBE safe harbor provision from the Energy Bill should be celebrated by all Americans who value safe drinking water. AWWA applauds the lawmakers from both parties and all regions of the country who put politics aside and listened to the voice of the American public over the noise of special interests.
"If the MTBE safe harbor provision became law, Congress would have excused gasoline manufacturers from their role in a mess that has harmed hundreds of drinking water supplies nationwide. The $29 billion cleanup tab would be left to local communities, water utilities and water consumers.
"While today’s news is welcome, the drinking water community must remain vigilant. If the MTBE safe harbor provision resurfaces in any legislation, AWWA will fight on behalf of water consumers to protect our most precious natural resource."