On 12 March 2010, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would expand research on harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in U.S. marine and fresh waters. The Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2009 (HR 3650), sponsored by Representative Brian Baird (D-WA), passed by voice vote after falling two votes shy of passage under expedited consideration earlier in the week. If enacted, the bill would double authorizations for harmful algal blooms and hypoxia research programs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), up to $41 million a year. The legislation would also require NOAA to oversee the development of regional research and action plans for addressing these poor water quality events. The Senate is currently considering similar legislation (S. 952), which was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee last year.
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