Accession Number : ADA302128

Title :   The Safe Drinking Water Act: A Case Study of an Unfunded Federal Mandate,

Corporate Author : CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE (U S CONGRESS) WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s) : Dinan, Terry

PDF Url : ADA302128

Report Date : SEP 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 55

Abstract : In the past several years, a growing movement has aftempted to draw attention to the costs that state and local governments bear in complying with federal requirements. At the local level, environmental laws are regarded as particularly burden-some. For example, in two surveys that were designed to draw attention to the cost that federal mandates impose on local governments, over half of the mandates on which localities provided information were environmental ones. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) examined the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as a case study of federal mandates. The SDWA requires all public water systems to comply with drinking water standards and monitoring requirements developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). BO chose to use the SDWA as a case study of federal mandates for two reasons. First, it has often been cited as a particularly onerous mandate. Second, examining the local cost impact is relatively easy because only limited offseting federal funds have been provided to localities; hence, separating local from federal cost shares is unnecessary. The increasing concern about the costs that federal mandates impose on state and local governments has led the Congress to pass legislation--the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995--that would make it harder to enact additional unfunded mandates. That legislation allows Members of Congress to raise a point of order against intergovernmental mandates that exceed a $50 million threshold unless funding is provided to pay fully for the mandate. The legislation also requires CBO to estimate the cost of federal mandates to state and local governments.

Descriptors :   *DRINKING WATER, *CASE STUDIES, *SAFETY, *LOCAL GOVERNMENT, REQUIREMENTS, CONGRESS, UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, ECONOMIC IMPACT, MONITORING, HUMANS, COSTS, SURVEYS, STANDARDS, PUBLIC UTILITIES, LEGISLATION, MONEY.

Subject Categories : Medicine and Medical Research
      Sociology and Law
      Water Pollution and Control

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE