Legislation Introduced to Improve Public Water Infrastructure

Senator Markey introduced legislation to improve public water infrastructure for the 21st Century.

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) was joined by eleven Senators to reintroduce the Contaminant and Lead Electronic Accounting and Reporting Requirements for (CLEARR) Drinking Water Act, legislation to authorize more than $1 billion in federal funding to help small and disadvantaged communities replace contaminated water infrastructure to comply with Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. The CLEARR Drinking Water Act also directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide grants for community and research partnerships on drinking water contaminants, establish requirements for electronic reporting of water quality testing results and update the requirements for repeat- or serious-offender water systems.

“Skin color, neighborhood or net worth should never determine access to clean and safe drinking water,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “We can eradicate the environmental contaminants of the 20th century by investing in infrastructure for the 21st century. Every community deserves to be free of lead and other drinking water contaminants that threaten public health. The CLEARR Act would provide funding for critical improvements with the latest electronic monitoring.”

A copy of the CLEARR Act can be found HERE.

The CLEARR Drinking Water Act would:

  • Increase the authorized funding levels for the Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities program from $60 million per year through FY2021 to $230 million for FY2020 and $300 million each year for FY2021–FY2024
  • Provide advice and technical assistance to state and public water systems to help bring those systems into compliance with drinking water regulations
  • Establish requirements for the electronic reporting of water system compliance data
  • Require the head of the state agency that has primary enforcement responsibility for drinking water to notify the EPA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and appropriate state and county health agencies when a drinking water violation has the potential to have serious adverse effects on human health

Other Senators co-sponsoring the legislation include Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Photo by Joe Dyer