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U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

04/15/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/15/2021 11:30

Water Infrastructure Bill Heads to Senate Floor with Support from Advocates, Experts, Local Leaders

WASHINGTON D.C.-Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), yesterday led his EPW Committee colleagues in a unanimous vote reaffirming support for S.914, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021, the first infrastructure legislation advanced by a Senate committee this Congress. Leader Schumer announced this week that the full Senate will consider the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act on the floor next week.

This bipartisan bill invests in strengthening our nation's water systems to foster economic growth, build climate-resilient infrastructure, and ensure that all Americans have access to clean, safe water. More information on the legislation can be found here.

Here's what environmental advocates, local leaders, and industry experts are saying in support of the bill:

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, and National Association of Counties

'The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 will help address the many water infrastructure challenges that communities face. Local leaders support the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act as a reliable, long-term and increased federal investment in water infrastructure, watershed protection, and the protection of water resources and facilities from physical, chemical and cybersecurity threats.

Rural Community Assistance Partnership

'RCAP is proud to support this bill because Americans deserve clean, safe, reliable, and affordable drinking water regardless of their community's size or zip code. We stand ready to work with you and your colleagues to ensure this bipartisan legislation is passed or included in a comprehensive infrastructure package this year, and to further support rural water and wastewater access and affordability measures in the future.'

Healing Our Waters - Great Lakes Coalition

'The Coalition applauds the EPW Committee's bi-partisan leadership in prioritizing the consideration of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021…Fixing our region's failing infrastructure can put people to work, set the stage for economic revitalization in our towns and cities, and ensure safe, clean, and affordable water is available to all.'

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

'The U.S. Chamber of Commerce appreciates Chairman Carper and Ranking Member Capito's work to develop bipartisan solutions to our nation's water and wastewater infrastructure challenges…We support the significant focus on funding, resilience, small, disadvantaged communities, stormwater, and water reuse and look forward to working with the Committee as this legislation heads to floor.'

National Resources Defense Council

'The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 is a positive first step on the path to providing all people with access to clean, safe, and affordable water... We commend the Committee for recognizing the importance of those programs to public health and the environment, for prioritizing action on this key issue, and for laying the groundwork for even greater investment moving forward.'

Clean Water Action

'This bill represents a much-needed down payment on investment in our nation's drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. Focused investment on systems in the most need and on resilience, cyber- security and long standing contamination issues like lead are all critical aspects of protecting public health and water quality while ensuring more sustainable drinking water and wastewater systems.'

National Wildlife Federation

'We thank the committee for prioritizing bipartisan legislation that begins to address our nation's water infrastructure challenges. The need could not be more acute... Just this month we saw the symptoms of the water infrastructure crisis manifest in Jackson, Mississippi, where citizens were without water for over a month. The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 takes an important first step to make urgently needed investments in drinking water and clean water infrastructure… the bill contains a number of important provisions that begin to make these water infrastructure funding programs easier for disadvantaged, rural, tribal, and frontline communities to access and leverage as well as provisions geared towards helping low-income households connect to publicly owned treatment works.'

Water Environment Federation

'The policies and priorities set forth in DWWIA will ensure that communities have the long-term tools and resources needed to serve their communities' water infrastructure needs.'

Council of Infrastructure Financing Authorities

'The Council of Infrastructure Financing Authorities (CIFA), which represents the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs), fully supports The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021. The legislation reflects the critical role of federal investment in building water infrastructure that protects public health and the environment, which are the foundation of vibrant communities and robust economies.'

Earthjustice

'This bipartisan legislation is an important first step to ensure communities impacted most by old and inadequate water infrastructure receive the investments their communities have been owed for decades.'

National Association of Sewer Service Companies

'This important legislation will provide much needed funding and financing resources to communities to make necessary investments in underground water infrastructure…Maintaining and rehabilitating underground water infrastructure is critical to protecting public health, protecting the environment, and promoting economic growth in communities.'

American Water Works Association

'The American Water Works Association (AWWA) thanks the committee and its staff for boldly addressing a host of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure issues through the draft Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021.'

Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies

'This legislation reauthorizes a host of important water infrastructure programs, while also undertaking several new initiatives that will help communities and ratepayers address daunting challenges in the years ahead... AMWA is pleased to support the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021.'

American Public Works Association

'APWA is appreciative of your efforts…Each day public works professionals are diligently working to protect and maintain the critical infrastructure that is so essential to protecting our health and quality of life. Because of our shared commitment, APWA looks forward to continuing to work with you and your staff on this legislation to help public works professionals meet our water infrastructure challenges.'

National Rural Water Association

'On behalf of the over 30,000 small and rural community members of the National Rural Water Association (NRWA)…we enthusiastically support enactment of the bill, and appreciate the many helpful and beneficial provisions for rural America in your water legislation.'

National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

'We welcome the Committee's work introducing…the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act…The bill's attention to improving projects that provide clean drinking water to disadvantaged and rural communities, as well as promoting project resiliency in all water infrastructure projects, underscores the proactive approach your offices led and will positively impact future generations.'

National Wastewater Onsite Recycling Association (NOWRA)

'The National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) commends you for introducing the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 in order to address America's water infrastructure needs and to help working-class families…We thank you for your leadership on this issue.'

Portland Cement Association

'This legislation will help communities address local water quality needs by increasing investment in our drinking water and wastewater infrastructure…We commend the introduction of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021.'

Water Equity and Climate Resilience (WECR) Caucus

'While many more resources are needed to address the water threats faced by communities of color, Indigenous Peoples' communities and Tribal Nations, and rural and low-income communities, this bill marks an important first step forward in recognizing that these communities need explicit focus and targeted resources to address the disparities in water services access and the resulting outsize impacts on these communities' health.'

WateReuse

'WateReuse is pleased to support the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021, which includes important policy changes and critical investments in water recycling programs.'

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