February 13, 2012

(Denver) –Rep. Roger Wilson’s bill to implement a medication take-back program to ensure clean water for Coloradans died in the House Agriculture Committee today on a party line vote. This bill was a response to growing concerns about the trace amounts of prescription drugs found in Colorado’s water.

HB12-1122 would have created the take-back program in the Department of Public Health and Environment, which supported the measure along with Colorado Counties, the Colorado River District, the Colorado Senior Lobby, and others. No one testified in opposition to the bill

The program would have set up collection centers where consumers could bring their unused or expired prescription drugs, rather than flush them down the toilet and, eventually, into Colorado’s rivers and reservoirs.

Currently, the CDPHE runs a similar program with federal grant dollars. The bill would have codified the program in statutes and allowed the program to accept gifts, grants and donations in order to fund the program once the federal grant is exhausted. Because this bill failed, the program cannot accept money from individuals, civic or corporate groups, potentially jeopardizing the clean water that Coloradans drink.

“The bill had an array of support of outside groups and is a bill to protect Coloradans,” Rep. Wilson said. “I don’t know why Republicans would vote this down on a party-line vote and am extremely disappointed that Colorado’s water is now in jeopardy because of political reasons.

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