WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today led an oversight hearing on the implementation of the drinking water investments and authorizations in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). As EPW Committee Chairman, Senator Carper co-authored the BIL’s unprecedented investment in our nation’s drinking water and wastewater systems.
ON THE BIL’S HISTORIC WATER INFRASTRUCTURE PROVISIONS:
“To date, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the single-largest water infrastructure investment in our nation’s history. Through that law, Congress is investing an unprecedented $55 billion to improve drinking water and wastewater systems in communities across our nation, including replacing lead service lines and addressing emerging contaminants. And, it was fully paid for. Still, there is more that needs to be done and more that can be done. My hope is that today’s hearing will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of how the implementation of those historic funds is going.”
ON THE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES NEEDED TO ADDRESS CONTINUING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE CHALLENGES:
“This past April, EPA released its most recent Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment, which estimated that the 20-year national drinking water infrastructure need is a staggering $625 billion … Please tell us about your experience with respect to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s funding, what you have been able to achieve with that funding, and tell us a bit about the financial gap that remains in your efforts to address water infrastructure challenges.”
Kishia L. Powell, General Manager and CEO, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC Water):
“Overall our experience in working with stakeholders to make sure that we got off to a good start with implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has been a positive one … We are starting to see funding from [BIL] and we are starting to see some principal forgiveness but what we talked about in the hearing before was that we needed to see more funding in the form of grants and not loans. Many communities cannot afford loans and for us, ourselves, we are financially constrained as well. It counts against the debt that we are taking out for our capital program, so there is still a funding gap there. We submitted a list of project requests worth $800 million, and we are projected to receive $105 million. So, we are still shy of the need.”
ON THE COST BURDEN OF CLEANING UP PFAS CONTAMINATION
“Would you please take a moment to discuss the disparity between the amount of money that companies spend to manufacture PFAS and the financial burden on communities that must handle the clean-up of these chemicals?”
The Honorable Elizabeth Biser, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality:
“It costs, to buy PFAS, about $50-$100 per pound and the cost to remove and destroy PFAS is around $2.7-$18 million per pound. So, there is quite a disparity between those two figures.”
Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s first round of questions.
Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s second round of questions.
Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s opening statement.