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Fish consumption advisory bill re-filed in Legislature

Rep. Lipscomb, R-Gadsden, has again filed a bill requiring increased testing of fish for pollutants in Alabama waters and more advisory information to the public.

He said House Bill 14 will “protect the safety of Alabamians by giving them proper and  adequate notice of the conditions of the water in which they swim in, fish in and play in.” 

Similar to a bill Lipscomb sponsored last year, HB14 requires more advisory information from the Alabama Department of Public Health and Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

It requires the departments to conduct regular fish tissue monitoring to evaluate safe consumption levels of fish species.

The Department of  Conservation and Natural Resources is required to provide access to a website offering  information on fish consumption advisories. 

Conservation Commissioner Chris  Blankenship said the department supports the bill. The department has “been participating in the fish consumption advisory program for many decades.” 

Last year, Lipscomb introduced HB297, which did not pass.  

The main problem with HB297 is that “we ran out of time,” Lipscomb said. The bill received favorable votes from the majority in the House but lacked time to get it through the  Senate. 

Lipscomb told Alabama Daily News that there are no significant changes to the bill this year  other than the timing. With the bill being presented earlier this session, Lipscomb is optimistic it will pass this year.

The Alabama River Alliance, a network of groups dedicated to protecting and restoring state  waterways, expressed support for HB297 in the previous session.

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