Wyden, Merkley Introduce Legislation to Help Disadvantaged Communities Rebuild Water Infrastructure

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week joined colleagues in introducing the Contaminant and Lead Electronic Accounting and Reporting Requirements (CLEARR) for Drinking Water Act, which would authorize $1 billion in federal funding to help small and disadvantaged communities replace contaminated water infrastructure to comply with Safe Drinking Water Act requirements.

Access to safe drinking water is a human right, and public health for all Americans requires equal and dependable access to a clean water supply,” Wyden said. “This bill will provide crucial funding to rebuild and bring our nation’s water infrastructure into the 21st century, giving some of our country’s most vulnerable communities access to safe, clean drinking water.”

“Clean water isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity,” Merkley said. “Investments in water infrastructure create good jobs and are critical to preventing public health crises. By investing in our most vulnerable communities, we can boost job creation, while making essential long-term investments in our health and our economic growth.”

The CLEARR Drinking Water Act also directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish requirements for electronic reporting of water quality testing results, update the requirements for repeat- or serious-offender water systems, and create a system so that residents can request in-home water quality tests from the EPA and receive the test results in an expedited manner.

Additional cosponsors include Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Tina Smith, D-Minn.

Text of the legislation can be found here.

A web version of this release can be found here.