WASHINGTON—Congressman Paul D. Tonko cheered today’s vote in the House to advance Fiscal Year 2022 Budget legislation that includes major funding provisions he has championed to repair America’s broken drinking water systems, address lead and PFAS contamination to eliminate harmful exposure and support communities already impacted by pollution.
“We know our water system needs are immense, but too often this hidden yet critical infrastructure has been left unaddressed with communities paying the price with lasting impacts on their health and well-being,” Congressman Tonko said. “Our children and families deserve safe water to drink. I’ve been pushing for years to fix our broken water systems and get dangerous toxins including lead and PFAS removed from every home, school, business and child care center, and I’m proud of the work we have done in the House today to make that happen. I urge the Senate to move quickly to advance this legislation to protect our communities and ensure every American has access to clean, safe water.”
Tonko has worked in Congress for years to ensure Americans have access to safe drinking water. He introduced his new Assistance, Quality, and Affordability (AQUA) Act earlier this year, which would invest $45 billion over 10 years to remove every one of the millions of operating lead service lines. That bill was included in major infrastructure package, the INVEST in America Act, passed out of the House this month.
He also helped champion the advance of the PFAS Action Act in the House, legislation that would clean up these toxic forever chemicals from our communities, introduce stricter protections against PFAS pollution and hold the polluters accountable.
Provisions advanced in the House include:
- $3.23 billion for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. This includes $428.6 million Community Project Funding for over 280 drinking water, wastewater, and storm water management projects across the country.
- The included Community Project Funding would support two local projects Rep. Tonko pushed for—$960,000 to the Town of Rotterdam to support improvements to their wastewater treatment plant to bring it up to modern standards and $800,000 to the City of Mechanicville for their water reliability project to replace miles of old water mains currently serving thousands of Capital Region residents and businesses.
- $326.6 million for targeted grants for drinking water contaminants and wastewater treatment for lead, nitrates, and other health hazards, an increase of $117.5 million above the enacted level and $7.6 million above the request.
- $61.8 million in funding for scientific and regulatory work on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), needed to establish drinking water and cleanup standards. This funding builds on the $49 million the EPA received in 2021.