WASHINGTON -- A community letter signed by organizations across America requests increased investment in water infrastructure as Congress negotiates the 2021 budget year before a Dec. 11 deadline. The House package includes an additional $11 billion for water infrastructure to prevent sewage overflows and drinking water contamination from lead and other sources. The Senate package fails to increase funding levels for EPA Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.
In response, Environment America Clean Water Advocate Laura Miller issued the following statement:
“Americans overwhelmingly agree on the need for clean water. But with billions of gallons of sewage overflows reaching our waterways and lead contaminating drinking water for millions of people, our water infrastructure is failing us.
“Fixing leaking sewage lines, preventing stormwater runoff and replacing lead pipes are just three examples of measures that will lead us to cleaner water. To address these threats to our health and environment we need to make bold investments to repair and renew our water infrastructure. Right now, Congress is negotiating funding that will make that investment possible.”
“The House spending package included an historic $11.7 billion for water infrastructure projects, including funding to address emerging contaminants like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). By including this level of clean water investment in the final budget, Congress would enact broadly popular measures to protect drinking water, public health and our environment.
“Even through the COVID-19 pandemic, support for federal investment in water infrastructure spans across ideological and partisan lines. Broad support for clean water is evident in the list of groups that signed our community letter. From the Pennsylvania Council of Churches to Black Farmers and Ranchers of New Mexico, clean water protection connects all corners of the United States.
“Our organizations call on Congress to bridge the growing political divide and invest in clean water. The health of our waterways, and our country, depend on it.”