Record numbers attended the Ground Water Legislative Conference, also known as the Legislative Fly-in, in Washington on March 19-20.

Ed Krenik of the U.S. EPA talks with industry representatives at the environmental policy lunch during the NGWA Fly-in.
The Ground Water Legislative Conference, also known as the Legislative Fly-in, took place in Washington on March 19-20. This was the fourth year for the Fly-in, a two-day event sponsored by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA). Ninety-eight attendees representing 30 states participated.

Two bills were promoted at the event: H.R. 626, which would set up a government-supported household water well financing program, and H.R. 937, which would protect the right of the consumer to choose a household well as a source for drinking water.

This year's fly-in also had a strong environmental component. Participants reviewed issues important to well drillers, including Superfund and Brownfields reform, and MTBE issues. NGWA has been identified as a resource for key people working on these matters. Senate Environment and Public Works staff specifically requested that NGWA provide a letter of support for their Brownfields bill.

An environmental policy lunch brought together environmental committee staff and administration officials to talk with attendees about what is on the horizon and get feedback on issues of importance to the ground water community. Those in attendance even got an advanced preview of the information that the arsenic rule was going to be reviewed.

This year's Ground Water Protector Awards were presented to Congressman Dave Hobson from Ohio, California Congressman Richard Pombo and Senator Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania.

You can find sample "follow up" letters on the NGWA Web site at During the last session of Congress, 80 percent of the cosponsors on bills important to the association's membership resulted from fly-in visits and subsequent follow-up by its members.