Peters, Stabenow Applaud Senate Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Rebuild America’s Water Systems

The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 authorizes funding to upgrade America’s aging water infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Gary Peters (MI) and Debbie Stabenow (MI) today applauded the passage of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act in the U.S. Senate. The $35 billon bill will reduce lead in drinking water, lower the cost of Americans’ water bills and address wastewater releases.

“It has never been more important to ensure that our water infrastructure is safe, reliable and accessible to all Americans — and that no matter where you live in Michigan or across our country that your drinking water is clean and safe,” said Senator Peters. “Unfortunately we’ve seen in Michigan the devastating impacts of outdated and underfunded water systems. That’s why I’m pleased to have helped pass this bipartisan legislation, which will help us combat the effects of climate change and extreme weather events, while also bringing our water infrastructure into the 21st century. I will keep fighting to ensure that these critical measures – including amendments I cosponsored to bolster funding for PFAS remediation efforts and lead service line replacement projects – are enacted.”

“Safe drinking water isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Unfortunately, in Michigan we know what happens when we fail to invest in these systems - our children and families needlessly suffer,” said Senator Stabenow. “This bipartisan legislation will continue our efforts to rebuild our water infrastructure to ensure that our communities have safe and clean water.”

The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act establishes new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant programs and strengthens the revolving loan funds that support America’s infrastructure. The bill authorizes over $35 billion in funding for water projects across the country.

The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 would:

  • Reauthorize the Drinking Water and the Clean Water State Revolving Funds: Invests $30 billion for these vital programs over the next 5 years to address aging water infrastructure and to provide communities with low-cost financing for water infrastructure projects.
  • Reauthorize the Sewer Overflow and Storm Reuse Municipal Grants Program:  Allocates $280 million in funding annually for the next 5 years for storm water infrastructure programs to address combined sewer overflows.
  • Address water affordability: Includes legislation sponsored by Senator Stabenow to create a pilot program at the Environmental Protect Agency to address water affordability in up to 40 communities. The pilot program will award grants to develop and implement programs to help ensure that all Americans have access to affordable and reliable drinking water. 
  • Address lead in drinking water: Provides an additional $100 million in funding per year, for the next 5 years, for the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead reduction grant.
  • Address lead contamination in schools: Reauthorizes the Voluntary School and Childcare Lead Testing Grant Program for five years to ensure safe drinking water at schools and child care programs.
  • Provide funding to help communities confront PFAS contamination: Includes an amendment Senator Peters cosponsored to enable states to use grants from the Assistance for Small and Disadvantage Communities Program for communities to combat PFAS contamination and exposure in drinking water, including in underserved areas and drinking wells.