WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) voted in the Energy and Commerce Committee to advance the Drinking Water Systems Improvement Act, a comprehensive update to the Safe Drinking Water Act that authorizes $8 billion over five years for drinking water revolving funds, allows these funds to be used to repair or replace existing treatment facilities and pipes, and increases the use of smart technology for safety and compliance. This bipartisan legislation also includes Rep. Peters’ Secure and Resilient Water Systems Act, which gives communities the funding and guidance to better protect their drinking water systems from threats like drought, industrial pollution, and cyberattacks. The program would prioritize the water systems at greatest risk, require emergency response plans for water systems, and encourage communities to adopt innovative approaches like water efficiency and water recycling.
“Today, we took a bipartisan step towards reasserting the federal government’s role in providing funding and expertise to help communities maintain safe drinking water systems,” said Rep. Scott Peters. “This bill will allocate more robust funding for drinking water safety, lead to the deployment of more smart sensor technologies, and make it easier for communities to use federal resources to repair or replace aging pipes. It also incorporates my Secure and Resilient Water Systems Act, which will give local communities like San Diego the guidance and resources they need to innovate and address threats to their drinking water systems.”
“I am pleased that Congressman Peters’ Secure and Resilient Water Systems Act was incorporated in today’s overall update to the Safe Drinking Water Act,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “This provision will ensure that community water systems identify and address their vulnerabilities to better withstand extreme weather, drought, earthquakes, and security threats. I thank Congressman Peters for his continued leadership in securing clean drinking water for all Americans.”
The American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave U.S. water infrastructure a “D” grade on its annual report card.
As included in the legislation passed today, Rep. Peters’ Secure and Resilient Water Systems Act amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to direct water systems to assess threats within two years, with EPA guidance. It also authorizes $50 million for each year from FY17-21 to establish a program at the EPA that would provide grants for communities to address these threats.