ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE ADVANCES HARPER AND WICKER BILL TO BOOST DRINKING WATER FOR RURAL AMERICA

WASHINGTON, DC – November 20, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The Energy and Commerce Committee today unanimously passed S. 611, the Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act – companion legislation to H.R. 2853, a bill introduced by Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Vice Chairman Gregg Harper (R-Miss). The legislation helps smaller and rural communities across the country deal with the technical and financial challenges of regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Often, smaller and rural communities face significant hurdles when it comes to maintaining, replacing, and upgrading their aging drinking and wastewater infrastructure.

S. 611 would:

· Reauthorize the EPA program proving technical assistance to small public water systems.

· Authorize EPA to provide technical assistance programs to small public water systems through grants or cooperative agreements made to non-profit organizations.

“This technical assistance and compliance training ensures that federal regulations do not overwhelm the resources of small and rural communities and provides small and rural communities that lack technical resources with the necessary skills to improve and protect water resources,” said Harper. “Across the U.S., 90% of community water systems serve a population of less than 10,000 individuals. Small and rural communities have the greatest difficulty providing safe, affordable public drinking water and wastewater services. S. 611 will help ensure that our constituents living in rural areas have access to clean, affordable water.”

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