Coalition: ‘Bill a good step’ in addressing inadequate drinking water and wastewater infrastructure that threatens the health of communities.

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (March 24, 2021)—The Senate Environment and Public Works committee advanced a bill today to ramp up federal investment in the nation’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, confront toxic lead contamination, build water system resiliency, and prioritize help to disadvantaged communities that have been most impacted by pollution. The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 now heads to the full Senate for a vote. The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition supports a robust federal investment in the nation’s water infrastructure and sent a letter to Senate leaders supporting swift action.

“This bill is a good step in addressing the nation’s inadequate drinking water and wastewater infrastructure that continues to threaten the health of communities and residents,” said Laura Rubin, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “The decades-long disinvestment in our nation’s water infrastructure by the federal government has put communities in an untenable and inhumane situation, saddling them with skyrocketing water bills and leaving millions of citizens without clean drinking water. The federal government can and should provide support in the form of new, robust investment to fix our water infrastructure before the problem gets worse and more expensive to solve. We look forward to working with the leaders in the Senate to pass and fund legislation to protect the health of our communities and our Great Lakes.”

The Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin face more than $188 billion in needed repairs and upgrades for their water infrastructure over the next 20 years to meet the clean water needs of communities. Earlier this month, the American Society of Civil Engineers released its infrastructure report card, handing out scathing grades for the nation’s water infrastructure, with drinking water earning a “C-,” stormwater a “D,” and wastewater a “D+.”

The House of Representatives is also considering sweeping legislation to address the nation’s drinking water and wastewater crisis.

Since 2004, the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition has been harnessing the collective power of more than 160 groups representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Learn more at www.healthylakes.org or follow us on Twitter @healthylakes.