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Sen. Carper highlights federal funding for water infrastructure

Roman Battaglia
Delaware Public Media

Sen. Tom Carper visited Milford to tout a piece of President Biden’s infrastructure agenda.


The clean water bill that cleared Carper’s committee on Environmental and Public Works this week is among the first pieces of legislation connected to Biden's infrastructure plan. 

It would once again fully fund the EPA’s grant programs and revolving funds that support the nation's water infrastructure.


Carper took time in Milford to highlight what that means to Delaware - specifically rural communities. He says many families still struggle with water insecurity in the country, and this bipartisan bill will help.


“We’re gonna make sure that a lot of people who, frankly whose lives aren't what they could be," Carper said. "And they don't have the privilege of turning on the faucet and knowing they can drink that water, knowing that when they flush their toilets that the waste will be taken care of in appropriate ways.”


Delaware Rural Water Association president Rick Duncan says many Delaware communities have aging water systems that desperately need upgrades.


“These grants and loans and stuff like that through the SRF and clean water SRF allows them to borrow low interest loans or grants," Duncan said. "Disadvantaged communities can get disadvantaged money which is forgiveness money. So that helps them improve their water quality and water infrastructure.”


Duncan adds this money would also help his association with it’s technical assistance program that supports Delaware’s rural cities and towns.


Carper says he’s proud to be working across party lines on this effort.


Gov. John Carney is also seeking funding to improve water quality, proposing $50 million this year for a clean water trust fund focused on improving water infrastructure in disadvantaged communities.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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