Tour Marks Progress on Anacostia Cleanup

Posted September 21, 2007 at 5:43pm

To celebrate progress in cleaning up the Anacostia River and coordinate the continuation of those efforts, Members of Congress, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) and other officials took a boat tour of the notoriously polluted river on Friday morning.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) organized the tour with help from the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership and the Anacostia Watershed Society. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.), chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, also took the tour. [IMGCAP(1)]

The Members celebrated the insertion of $35 million for a D.C. sewer overhaul program in this year’s Water Resources Development Act, which has passed the House but is awaiting action in the Senate. The short-term D.C. plan is designed to reduce sewer overflows into the Anacostia by 40 percent by 2008.

“Restoring this once thriving river is a critical priority, and one that I believe can serve as a national symbol of environmental preservation,” Hoyer said in a statement.

Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and related D.C. and Maryland agencies and nonprofits also attended the event.

— Daniel Heim