Lawmakers say Congress needs to guarantee clean and safe drinking water

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and other lawmakers say Congress needs to do more to guarantee clean and safe drinking water.

“Protecting our children from lead exposure, at their homes and their schools. And ending the threat of having water service shut off amid this prolonged public health crisis,” Tonko said.

Tonko says legislation like the CLEAN Future Act, the Aqua Act and President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan is necessary to improve the nation’s water infrastructure.

“Making our drinking water safer, more reliable, and more affordable,” Tonko said.

EPA Ground Water and Drinking Water Director Dr. Jennifer McLain, says 93% of community water systems meet all health-based standards.

“Unfortunately, many of the systems that ushered in this progress are aging and their infrastructure needs repair or replacement,” McLain said.

However, some Republicans say states and cities already have access to the funds they need to make improvements.

“America deserves better,” Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va) said.

McKinley says Congress should allow localities to utilize pandemic aid money they already received.

“Why don’t we allow the states, if they choose, to transfer some of this federal COVID money to their state revolving fund, so that we can expedite these repairs, without having to ask for more money,” McKinley said.

McKinley says this is not a partisan issue and using leftover COVID-19 relief funds should come before sending out more money.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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