Clean Water Current

Senate Addresses Microplastics in Water, NACWA Weighs In

Feb 28, 2024

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Subcommittee on Chemical Safety, Waste Management, Environmental Justice, and Regulatory Oversight held a hearing on February 27 to explore the significant issue of microplastics in drinking water and wastewater. The hearing was among a series of subcommittee hearings investigating plastic pollution and its effects on human health, the climate, and the environment. 

NACWA submitted written testimony ahead of the hearing highlighting impacts of microplastics and larger plastic pollution on public wastewater and stormwater systems. NACWA’s testimony stressed the importance of preventing these pollutants from entering our sewer systems as the most cost-effective and efficient approach to mitigate their impacts.

Legislative actions, like the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, have helped make progress on this issue, yet more comprehensive measures are necessary to address the broader spectrum of microplastics sources. NACWA’s testimony also emphasized the need for additional research to better understand the sources, transport, and fate of microplastics, alongside the development of effective prevention strategies. Such efforts are crucial for guiding policy and regulatory frameworks that can significantly reduce microplastics pollution. 

Access to the official hearing webcast and witness list can be accessed via the Senate EPW committee's website. Please contact NACWA’s Director of Legislative Affairs, Danielle Cloutier, with any questions or to discuss further.  

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