WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), both cofounders of the first-ever U.S. Senate Environmental Justice Caucus, highlighted several provisions they secured in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law this week that will help working families across the country by removing lead from their drinking water, protecting them from forever chemicals like PFAS, improving water quality and much more.
“Access to clean water is essential for our health, economy, and environment,” said Senator Carper. “Yet, far too many Americans rely on water systems that simply can’t keep up with the demands of the twenty-first century. Fortunately, a future with cleaner, safer water is on the way for families—no matter where they live. The historic investments we make in this legislation are going to modernize our nation’s water infrastructure and create good-paying jobs in communities across the country as a result.”
“No American should be forced to drink water that’s contaminated with dangerous chemicals that could put their health and the health of their families at risk,” said Senator Duckworth. “I’m proud Senator Carper and I were able to secure so many key provisions in the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal that will directly improve people’s lives by increasing access to safe drinking water for our children, replacing lead pipes for millions of families, strengthening wastewater infrastructure, making our water systems more resilient in the face of extreme weather and finally take big steps to bring environmental justice to communities that have been ignored for too long.”
Key provisions secured by Carper and Duckworth in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law would improve water infrastructure by:
- Upgrading aging water infrastructure and improving water quality by providing states with $43.4 billion through the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs), including $250 million specifically for Tribal communities.
- Removing and replacing lead pipes, which exist in nearly 10 million American households, by providing over $15 billion to tackle this issue as well as authorizing $180 million for lead testing and removal in schools and child care services.
- Cleaning up toxic emerging contaminants like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), forever chemicals that are proven to have adverse effects on human health.
- Building climate resiliency into water infrastructure in underserved communities by providing $125 million for these types of projects.
- Promoting environmental justice by prioritizing support for small, disadvantaged, rural, and Tribal communities through grant programs.
- Improving wastewater and sanitation services by authorizing $780 million for projects that connect low-income households to these important services.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes $55 billion to expand access to clean drinking across the country—the single largest investment in clean drinking water in our nation’s history. Carper and Duckworth crafted the historic water infrastructure provisions that formed the foundation of this bipartisan legislation. Earlier this year, they introduced the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 (DWWIA 2021) and successfully shepherded passage of the bill in the Senate by a vote of 89 to 2.