WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama has signed into law, S. 611, the Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act – companion legislation to H.R. 2853, a bill introduced by Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Vice Chairman Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Ranking Minority member Paul Tonko (D-NY). Many smaller and rural communities often face technical and financial challenges when it comes to complying with regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This bill will provide these communities the assistance they need to alleviate that burden and help maintain safe drinking water. The bill unanimously passed both the committee and the House of Representatives and builds upon the committee’s bipartisan #RecordOfSuccess.
“Across our country over 90 percent of community water systems serve a population of less than 10,000. The technical assistance in S. 611 would help those communities in Mississippi comply with the financial challenges they face under the Safe Drinking Water Act. I’m thankful this important bipartisan legislation was signed into law, it will go a long way in improving and protecting water resources in small and rural communities across the country,” said subcommittee Vice Chairman Harper.
Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) added, “As someone who proudly represents rural communities in small towns across Illinois, I am glad this bipartisan bill was signed into law. This bill will go a long way in helping these communities replace, maintain, and upgrade their aging water infrastructure. Rural communities deserve access to the same quality water and technical resources that folks who live in densely populated urban centers do.”
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) concluded, “This bill helps level the playing field and delivers a big win for our smaller and more rural communities in Southwest Michigan and throughout the nation. This law will help many communities comply with federal safe drinking water regulations and ensure access to a safe water supply. Subcommittee Chairman Shimkus and Vice Chairman Harper deserve credit for their efforts in getting this bipartisan bill across the finish line and adding to our record of success.”