November 18, 2021

Duckworth, Carper Highlight Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal’s Water Provisions that Help Working Families

Senators successfully secured provisions to help states upgrade water systems, remove lead in drinking water and address emerging contaminants like PFAS


[WASHINGTON, DC] —U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), cofounder of the first-ever U.S. Senate Environmental Justice Caucus, and U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) today highlighted several provisions they secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal signed into law this week that will help working families across the country by removing lead from their drinking water, protecting them from forever chemicals like PFAS, improving water quality and much more.

“No American should be forced to drink water that’s contaminated with dangerous chemicals that could put their health and the health of their families at risk,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud Senator Carper and I were able to secure so many key provisions in the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal that will directly improve people’s lives by increasing access to safe drinking water for our children, replacing lead pipes for millions of families, strengthening wastewater infrastructure, making our water systems more resilient in the face of extreme weather and finally take big steps to bring environmental justice to communities that have been ignored for too long.”

“Access to clean water is essential for our health, economy, and environment,” said Carper. “Yet, far too many Americans rely on water systems that simply can’t keep up with the demands of the twenty-first century. Fortunately, a future with cleaner, safer water is on the way for families—no matter where they live. The historic investments we make in this legislation are going to modernize our nation’s water infrastructure and create good-paying jobs in communities across the country as a result.”

Key provisions secured by Duckworth and Carper in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal would improve water infrastructure by:

  • Removing and replacing lead pipes, which exist in nearly 10 million American households, by providing over $15 billion to tackle this issue as well as authorizing $180 million for lead testing and removal in schools and child care services
  • Upgrading aging water infrastructure and improving water quality by providing states with $43.4 billion through the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs), including $250 million specifically for tribal communities
  • Building climate resiliency into water infrastructure in underserved communities by providing $125 million these types of projects
  • Cleaning up toxic emerging contaminants like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), forever chemicals that are proven to have adverse effects on human health.
  • Promoting environmental justice by prioritizing support for small, disadvantaged, rural, and Tribal communities through grant programs
  • Improving wastewater and sanitation services by authorizing $780 million for projects that connect low-income households to these important services

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes $55 billion to expand access to clean drinking across the country—the single largest investment in clean drinking water in our nation’s history. Senators Duckworth and Carper crafted the historic water infrastructure provisions that formed the foundation of this bipartisan legislation. Earlier this year, they introduced the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 (DWWIA 2021) and successfully shepherded passage of the bill in the Senate by a vote of 89 to 2.

Carper is the Chair of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee and Duckworth is the Chair of the EPW Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water & Wildlife.