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Water, Wastewater Bill Will Help Begin to Bring Water Infrastructure into 21st Century

“This bill will benefit people and wildlife alike, by creating good jobs and improving habitat in rivers, lakes, and streams.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 — led by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) — will ensure more Americans have access to clean drinking water and improve wastewater treatment in communities nationwide. The bill passed the Senate nearly unanimously, with an 89-2 vote.

“The bipartisan support for the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act underscores the challenges facing communities across the country. As we saw recently with the devastating storms that left some communities in Texas and Mississippi without clean drinking water for weeks, we need to invest in resilient clean water infrastructure,” said Jessie Ritter, director of water resources and coastal policy for the National Wildlife Federation. “This bill will benefit people and wildlife alike, by creating good jobs and improving habitat in rivers, lakes, and streams. We look forward to working with the Senate and the House to build on these historic investments to meet the moment and the urgent need for clean water in our communities.”

The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act takes important steps to ensure rural, Tribal, low-income, and underserved communities have access to federal water infrastructure programs and charts a course to identify new opportunities to improve the distribution of these funds in a more equitable way to communities who need it most.

As water infrastructure legislation moves through both chambers of Congress, the National Wildlife Federation urges lawmakers to significantly increase the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds to more adequately address the overwhelming water infrastructure backlog, include additional assistance for frontline communities in the form of grants, require states to use at least 20 percent of their clean water funds on green infrastructure projects, and establish a permanent federal program to provide assistance to low-income communities to help keep struggling households connected to essential water and wastewater service.

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