H. R. 1008
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 14, 2023
Mr. Donalds (for himself, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Mr. Diaz-Balart, Mr. Frost, Mr. Posey, Ms. Lois Frankel of Florida, Mr. Bilirakis, Mr. Moskowitz, Mrs. Luna, Mrs. Cherfilus-McCormick, Mr. Mast, Ms. Castor of Florida, Ms. Salazar, Mr. Waltz, and Mr. C. Scott Franklin of Florida) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to include algal blooms in the definition of a major disaster, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Combat Harmful Algal Blooms Act.
Findings; sense of Congress
Congress finds the following:
The presence of harmful algal blooms threaten public health, interrupt economic activity, and contribute to the ongoing degradation of ecological communities.
Algal blooms are part of healthy and productive freshwater and saltwater systems, but harmful algal blooms may become intense, long-lasting, expansive, and may contain enough poisonous neurotoxins to harm marine life and humans alike.
Water conditions and ecological balance in marine environments depend on nutrient and salinity conditions, which are often influenced by—
tidal flow and circulation;
freshwater input from the land;
coastal nutrient recycling; and
Harmful algal blooms, depending on the severity, may result in the widespread mortality of marine life and aquatic specimens, which may result in unpleasant sights and smells around the impacted body of water.
Harmful algal blooms can force the closure of beaches, impose fishing and shellfish harvesting restrictions, and could even result in banning the sale of seafood at restaurants.
Tourism numbers can drop dramatically during harmful algal blooms, which may result in a significant economic impact to certain economies that heavily depend on bringing in visitors.
Property values near water sources that experience harmful algal blooms may decrease substantially.
Sense of Congress
It is the sense of Congress that Congress should focus on decreasing the overarching impact of harmful algal blooms on public health, the economy, and the degradation of ecological communities.
Section 102(2) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122(2)) is amended by striking
or drought and inserting
drought, or algal blooms.
Impacts of algal blooms on air quality
Not later than 365 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shall submit to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate, the Committee of Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate, the Committee on Oversight and Accountability of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a detailed study relating to the health effects of exposure to cyanotoxins in the air that result from algal blooms.