Carper announces Senate passage of clean water bill in Wilmington

Delaware News Desk
Sen. Tom Carper and Wilmington Public Works Commissioner Kelly Williams were on hand at the Wilmington Wastewater Treatment Plant to announce the Senate Passage of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act on May 3.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, joined Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, Wilmington Public Works Commissioner Kelly Williams, National Rural Water Association President David Baird and National Wildlife Federation President Collin O’Mara on May 3 to announce the Senate passage of the bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021.  

This legislation, the first infrastructure bill advanced by the Senate this Congress, would strengthen drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, foster economic growth, enhance the health and well-being of families across the nation and prioritize disadvantaged communities.  

“From Blades to the city of Wilmington, every Delawarean — and every American — regardless of their zip code, deserves clean drinking water,” said Carper. “This forward-thinking legislation makes investments into our nation’s much-needed water infrastructure projects so that our communities have reliable, clean water and the means to pay for it.” 

The bill makes significant investments in Environmental Protection Agency grant programs and revolving loan funds that support the nation’s water infrastructure. This bill would invest more than $35 billion in water infrastructure projects across the country that focus on upgrading aging infrastructure, addressing the threat of climate change, investing in new technologies and providing assistance for marginalized communities. 

The bill includes nearly $30 billion in funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund and an additional $6 billion in grant funding.  

This legislation prioritizes environmental justice through targeted grant programs and technical assistance for small, disadvantaged, rural and tribal communities; empowers states with increased funding and program flexibilities to invest in community water projects that address aging infrastructure and improve water quality; increases investments in lead abatement through grant programs and technical assistance; authorizes funding to connect households to public drinking water and wastewater services, install decentralized wastewater systems and improve sanitation in Alaskan rural and native villages; supports climate-resilient water projects to address the worsening impacts of climate change on drinking water and wastewater infrastructure; invests in the drinking water and wastewater needs of tribal communities; and fosters the development and deployment of emerging technologies that result in cleaner, safer and more reliable water.