March 16, 2023

Duckworth Discusses How Her Law Will Help Improve Chicago’s Drinking and Wastewater Infrastructure with Environmental Leaders


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), author of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act which was included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is helping provide communities across the country with over $15 billion in resources to get the lead out of drinking water, met with Chicago environmental justice advocates to discuss water infrastructure in the city, specifically lead pipes. Duckworth and the group shared how historically, working Chicagoans of color have suffered from inadequate water infrastructure and how Duckworth is committed to improving that infrastructure in the communities that need it most.

“For too long, communities of color and under-resourced communities have unfairly borne the brunt of environmental injustice, which is why I’m committed to making sure they have the resources they need to invest in, repair and update their drinking water and wastewater systems to have safe, reliable water,” said Duckworth. “Thanks to my Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, we are taking historic action to help get the lead out of our water and improve water infrastructure so neighborhoods can get the equitable resources that are long overdue.”

Today’s virtual panel titled “H20 and Infrastructure – Scarcity or Abundance?” was hosted by the Leadership of Greater Chicago and moderated by Chicago Sun-Times reporter Brett Chase. The Senator was joined by Leadership of Greater Chicago CEO Maria Wynne, Environmental Law & Policy Center President & Executive Director Howard Learner, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization Senior Policy Analyst Brenda Santoyo and Chatham Community Resident and Activist Lori Burns.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included Duckworth’s Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (DWWIA) and is the most significant federal investment in water infrastructure in history. DWWIA, which has a focus on disadvantaged communities, will help rebuild our nation’s crumbling and dangerous water infrastructure and enable communities to repair and modernize their failing wastewater systems. Duckworth is also the co-founder of the U.S. Senate’s first-ever Environmental Justice Caucus, which focuses on advocating for communities that have been disproportionately impacted by environmental injustices.