AMWA Supports Sen. Cardin Bills

Last week, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) wrote to Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) in support of three bills he recently introduced in response to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. AMWA’s letter came after gathering feedback from AMWA members during the Water Policy Conference and from the association’s Legislative and Regulatory Committees. Congressional staff indicated the proposals could be considered for inclusion in an upcoming Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) re-authorization bill.

The three bills supported by AMWA are:

  • S. 2588, the “Grants and Education To Tackle Homeowner Exposure to Lead Ensuring America Drinks Only from Unpolluted Taps Act” (GET THE LEAD OUT Act), which would authorize $300 million over five years to help communities and low-income homeowners finance the replacement of lead service lines and interior home plumbing components;
  • S. 2583, the “Firm, Unwavering National Dedication to Water Act” (FUND Water Act), which would reauthorize the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs for five years; and
  • S. 2586, the “Thorough Evaluation of State Testing to Kick-start Investigations before Damage is Suffered Act” (TEST KIDS Act), which would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate clusters of elevated blood levels in children reported by states.

AMWA’s letter to Senator Cardin said the three bills “represent important and effective steps that will help communities take action to improve water infrastructure.”  The association took no formal position on another bill from Sen. Cardin (S. 2587) that would require EPA to finalize revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule within 180 days, though AMWA has privately raised significant concerns about that proposal with congressional staff.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is aiming to consider a WRDA re-authorization bill before the end of the month, and committee members have said the legislation is likely to include a water and wastewater infrastructure funding title.

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