April 06, 2021

Duckworth Discusses Drinking Water Infrastructure Bill with Illinois Environmental Advocates


[CHICAGO, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chair of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife today met virtually with local environmental advocates to discuss her recently-introduced Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 (DWWIA 2021). The bipartisan legislation authorizes more than $35 billion for water resource development projects across the country, which is of vital importance in Illinois, the state with the most lead service lines in the country. Duckworth’s Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife also has jurisdiction over the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act.

“Every American has a right to clean water—no matter their zip code, the color of their skin or the size of their income,” said Duckworth. “From permanent brain damage from drinking water contaminated with lead, to overflowing sewage, Americans across the country are now experiencing the negative impacts of allowing our drinking water and wastewater systems to fall into a state of disrepair. I was glad to connect with these local environmental advocates today to discuss the importance of this legislation and how I can continue to support these important environmental issues across Illinois.”

Duckworth was joined virtually by Environmental Law & Policy Center Executive Director Howard Learner, Environment America Attorney John Rumpler, Greater Peoria Sanitary District CEO and Executive Director Brian Johnson, environmental justice activist Celeste Flores, Earthjustice Attorney Anna Sewell and Prairie Rivers Network Water Policy Specialist Robert Hirschfield.

Duckworth’s bipartisan DWWIA 2021 would make significant investments in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant programs and revolving loan funds that support our nation’s water infrastructure. EPW unanimously passed the legislation out of committee last month. Last week, Duckworth and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) also called on EPA to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act’s Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). Duckworth is the co-founder of the Senate’s first-ever Environmental Justice Caucus.