Booker, Capito, Sewell, Rogers Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Address Wastewater Needs of Low-Income Households

Booker, Capito, Sewell, Rogers Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Address Wastewater Needs of Low-Income Households

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and U.S. Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Mike Rogers (R-AL) introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Rural Decentralized Water Systems Reauthorization Act, legislation that would expand and strengthen the USDA Rural Decentralized Water Systems Program to provide support for low- and moderate-income households to install or upgrade their water well and wastewater systems.

 

With approximately 20 percent of Americans relying on their own sewage disposal systems, these systems must be safe and reliable. This is because wastewater system failures can contaminate water and pose a threat to public health and the environment. The Rural Decentralized Water Systems Reauthorization Act would reauthorize the Rural Decentralized Water Systems Grant Program through 2028, increase the maximum subgrant or loan amount from $15,000 to $20,000, and target funding through subgrants to individuals earning 60 percent or less of the median nonmetropolitan household income for the area. Additionally, the bill would reinstate eligibility for loans to individuals earning up to 100 percent of the area median income and allow subgrant funding to include the cost of a performance warranty for individually owned household’s decentralized wastewater systems.

 

“Water is a basic human right and access to safe, clean water should never be determined based on one’s socioeconomic status,” said Senator Booker. “We must ensure that all Americans have access to reliable water well and wastewater systems to prevent health hazards in communities where water contamination is a real threat. That is why I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill that would expand and strengthen the USDA Rural Decentralized Water Systems Program to provide support to more low- and moderate-income households to modernize their outdated wastewater systems.”

 

“Strengthening our infrastructure throughout West Virginia has been and remains a top priority of mine,” said Senator Capito. “I’m glad to join Senator Booker in reintroducing legislation that will help improve home water systems in West Virginia, and reauthorize the Rural Decentralized Water Systems Grant Program that has proven to work in my state. This legislation is also included in my list of Farm Bill priorities this year, and I look forward to working to advancing it.”

 

“Access to adequate wastewater infrastructure is a basic human right, but for too many of my constituents, generations of disinvestment have created broken and failing wastewater systems that put the health of our communities at risk,” said Representative Sewell. “The Rural Decentralized Water Systems Reauthorization Act is an important step toward correcting this injustice. Many communities in the Black Belt have received USDA Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program grants to help households install and upgrade their wastewater systems. By reauthorizing and expanding this program, more rural and underserved communities will receive the wastewater infrastructure resources that they deserve.”

 

“I am excited to join my colleagues in reintroducing this important legislation,” said Representative Rogers. “I was especially proud to work in a bipartisan and bicameral manner to address the universal issue of our country’s failing rural wastewater infrastructure. Reauthorizing this grant program will ensure access to clean water for more rural communities in Alabama and across the country.” 

 

The bill is supported by the following organizations: The National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) and Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP).

 

The full text of the bill can be found here.

(Visited 47 times, 1 visits today)

Comments are closed.

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape