Delaware Public Media

Gov. Carney pitches clean water funding

Jan 21, 2020

Gov. John Carney (D-Delaware) wants to devote money in next year’s budget for clean water legislation.

 

"We're going to propose $50 million for water and wastewater and drainage facilities in our state," said Carney.

Carney made the announcement Tuesday afternoon surrounded by members of the General Assembly from both parties, cabinet members, advocates, and others. 

House Bill 200 would create the Clean Water Trust account that will use the proposed funding to provide grants to low-income and underserved communities.

Carney adds the new money will join to state dollars already allocated, and create more funding opportunities as well.

"That will add to the $20 million that we all together appropriated this year in the Bond Bill," said Carney. "The $50 million will leverage another 30 million of federal money, [and] the 20 million, that will leverage another $20 million of federal money and that doesn't even include some of the drainage and Beach replenishment resources that we have."

Carney adds recent budgeting practices allow the state to tackle big projects like this.

"The approach to our budgeting today enables us and, in fact, incentivizes us to continue to make investments in these facilities in the out years as we hold ourselves to a sustainable operating budget growth venues and use  revenue above that for just these kind of life-saving purposes," said Carney.

House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst (D-Bear) is co-sponsoring the legislation to create the Clean Water Trust.

"Clean water - it's not a privilege, it's a human right," said Longhurst. "Access to clean water and infrastructure is so important and it impacts all Delawareans. HB 200 - the Clean Water Act - is a monumental piece of legislation. Today after years of advocacy we are finally making the Clean Water Act a priority."

The money will allow the state to improve resiliency and drainage in the most flood-prone communities, repair failing sewer pipes and sewer systems, improve the drinking water quality, expand access to safe drinking water, and remove legacy pollution from Delaware’s waterways.