GOP's new water bill forces EPA to pay for toxic spill

A major water infrastructure bill introduced Monday by the Republican leadership would put states back in charge of enforcing one of the Environmental Protection Agency's costly coal rules, while making sure the agency pays for the damage it caused states during last year's toxic waste water spill in Colorado.

The new Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation bill includes pending water resources and water waste bills, as well as significant tribal and natural resources legislation, and other important measures to improve the nation's infrastructure, according to a fact sheet.

The Senate and House passed water resources bills earlier this year to fund numerous water projects in the country, and Monday's bill is the result of ongoing discussions to work out differences between the two chambers' bills. The legislation introduced in the chambers matches up on the coal rules, but the Senate version contains the toxic waste spill provisions.

The coal waste provisions would block environmental groups from being able to sue to enforce EPA's coal ash rule. The rule currently allows for green groups to file citizen suits if they don't believe the industry or state has taken proper actions to enforce the federal regulations.

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