Senate Passes Legislation to Address Marine Debris; Bill Awaits House Action

(January 15, 2020) – The US Senate unanimously passed comprehensive legislation, S. 1982, the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act on Thursday, January 9. As previously reported, this legislation is a key part of a comprehensive package aimed at reducing the prevalence of marine debris and trash in the nation’s waterways. Among other provisions, the bill requires a Report to Congress from the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee on microfiber pollution. This report, to be completed within 2 years, would define microfiber pollution and assess its sources, recommend standardized methodology for its assessment, and provide recommendations for reducing microfiber pollution and for how federal agencies can work with stakeholders to address the issue.

This bill also establishes a Marine Debris Foundation and a Genius Prize to spur innovation in reducing plastic pollution in waterbodies. NACWA has provided input to Congress during legislative drafting and applauds Congress’s bipartisan work to advance the bill. NACWA will continue to track this and related proposals as they move forward. Contact Kristina Surfus or Jason Isakovic to discuss.