Senator Booker Applauds Senate Passage of Critical Water Systems Legislation

Booker

Senator Booker Applauds Senate Passage of Critical Water

Systems Legislation

The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 invests in infrastructure modernization and lead service line replacements

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) praised Senate passage of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 (DWWIA 2021), bipartisan legislation that authorizes more than $35 billion for water infrastructure projects across the country with a focus on upgrading aging water infrastructure, addressing the threat of climate change, investing in new technologies, and providing assistance to marginalized communities.

“In too many communities across New Jersey, families are struggling with aging water infrastructure and are exposed to unsafe water quality,” said Senator Booker. “In the wealthiest nation on the planet, it is unconscionable that there are families who do not have access to safe drinking water, and that parents have to worry about whether the water their child is drinking is contaminated. This bipartisan legislation will help protect New Jersey communities and create jobs by helping to replace lead service lines, addressing the threat of climate change, and providing the necessary job training to strengthen our water utility workforce.”

Booker was able to successfully include several New Jersey priorities in the DWWIA that will:

  • Invest in Refurbishing Wastewater Systems: Includes provisions from bipartisan legislation introduced by Booker and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) that creates a grant program for nonprofit organizations to receive funds for the construction, repair, or replacement of decentralized wastewater systems for low or moderate income households. The program gives priority to households that do not have access to sanitary sewer disposal systems.
  • Create Jobs: Reauthorizes and expands a program created in 2018 based on bipartisan legislation introduced by Booker and Capito and establishes a competitive grant program to help develop the next generation of water utility workers.

  • Replace lead service lines: Reauthorizes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) lead reduction projects grant program and increases the program’s funding to $100 million annually through fiscal year 2026.

Booker has long been committed to investing in our nation’s water infrastructure and addressing lead contamination in our communities. In 2019, Booker authored a bill that was passed and signed into law to help communities across the country fund the replacement of lead water lines. As a result of that law, New Jersey was able to transfer up to $100 million in federal funds for use toward the $120 million lead service line replacement project in Newark and projects in other municipalities.

Earlier this week, at a press conference in Newark, New Jersey,  Senator Booker called for significant investments in America’s crumbling infrastructure – from our roads and bridges to broadband access to our water systems.

A report published in December of 2020 showed that about 471,000 U.S. households, including more than 1.1 million people, do not have access to running water. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than a million homes across the U.S. lack adequate plumbing, and nearly 200,000 lack a sewage system altogether – meaning these homes do not have an adequate method for disposing of human waste.

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