Build Back Better: Senate and House Leaders Need to Make Clean Water A Priority in Infrastructure Spending

We’re going through a clean water crisis in America, with millions potentially drinking unsafe water. Low-income communities and communities of color throughout the country continue to be subject to disproportionately polluted water. With over 9 million homes still connected to lead service lines (LSLs), many children are needlessly being poisoned from the water they drink. 

To address this important issue, NYLCV signed a letter with the Clean Water for All Coalition urging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to make clean water investments a priority in both the bipartisan and reconciliation infrastructure packages. The current infrastructure legislation being debated in both the Senate and House has the potential to address this crisis. 

The Senate has already passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure bill that includes $55 billion to improve our water infrastructure as well as $15 billion to replace LSLs. With the larger $3.5 trillion reconciliation package on the horizon, it is imperative that Congress allocates more funding in order to make clean water available to all. The EPA estimates that in order to meet basic health standards we need to invest at least $740 billion in our drinking and clean water infrastructure over the next 20 years. 

That is why we are urging Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi to invest at least $150 billion in our nation’s drinking water infrastructure (with $45 billion to replace all lead service lines), $110 for clean water infrastructure, and $90 billion for low-income water relief.  This is a critical opportunity for our country to address a pressing health hazard that affects us all, and that is why NYLCV is committed to pressuring Washington to make clean water a lasting priority.