WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, last night introduced the Small Water Systems Technical Assistance Bill that would reauthorize the technical assistance provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) which expired in 2003. Senator Jonny Isakson (R-GA), Ranking Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, and EPW committee members Larry Craig (R-ID), Craig Thomas (R-WY), John Warner (R-VA), joined in co-sponsoring the bill.
“Small water systems in Oklahoma and across the nation are struggling to comply with several Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water rules because of unfunded mandates imposed by the federal government,” Senator Inhofe said. “My bill is a small but important bill that simply reauthorizes the technical assistance provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act which expired in 2003. Doing so will provide much needed assistance to community water systems across the country that face several very technical and difficult federal drinking water regulations.”
“As acknowledged by Congress when it enacted the SDWA in 1996, small systems need extra help complying with federal regulations. The nation’s small water systems provide water to nearly 26 million citizens. Congress owes it to those citizens to ensure they receive safe, reliable and affordable drinking water. Providing adequate assistance to small water systems is a critical part of this effort.”
In Oklahoma there are only 25 water systems in the entire state serve more than 10,000 people. The state has a total of 1,717 public water systems, of which there are 1,463 systems that serve less than 3,300 people. Nationally, of the 52,800 community water systems, 44,000 serve less than 3300 people and an additional 4,700 serve less than 10,000 people.