Legislation includes Senator Markey’s provisions that increase funding and technical support for safe drinking water in small and disadvantaged communities and support grants for sewer overflow warning systems
Washington (April 29, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chair of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, commended the Senate passage of a bipartisan water infrastructure bill, The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021. This legislation includes several of Senator Markey’s key provisions that would increase funding and technical assistance for safe drinking water in low-income communities and support grants to establish sewer overflow warning systems.
“I am proud that this critical legislation includes my key provisions, which will help ensure that clean and safe drinking water is accessible to all rather than only to some,” said Senator Markey. “From water filters to alerts for contamination, all communities deserve the resources and ability to deploy the solutions that work for them. These provisions will support small and disadvantaged communities as they enhance their infrastructure for continued access to clean water.”
The Senator’s priorities that are featured in The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 include:
  • Clean Drinking Water—Increasing the funding for the Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities Program—which helps underserved, small, and disadvantaged communities meet Safe Drinking Water Act requirements in public water systems—to $510 million over five years. The Senator’s provisions also allow this funding to go toward filters for on-site, immediate water quality improvement, and partnerships with nonprofit organizations for technical expertise to help map and manage small and disadvantaged water system assets.
  • Combined Sewer Overflows—Expanding an existing municipal sewer overflow grant program to allow federal funds to help develop notification systems that warn communities, like those along the Merrimack River in Massachusetts, when sewage overflows into their drinking water—a critical safety measure to help protect public health as experts work to address overflow prevention at the source.