May 28, 2021

Water Utilities Applaud Low-Income Water Customer Assistance Programs Act of 2021

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies and Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies applaud the introduction of the Low-Income Water Customer Assistance Programs Act of 2021. 

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The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) and Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) applaud the introduction of H.R. 3293, the Low-Income Water Customer Assistance Programs Act of 2021. 

The bipartisan legislation, led by Reps. Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and John Katko (R-NY) would create a permanent program at the U.S. EPA to help financially struggling households maintain access to affordable drinking water and wastewater services, reported NACWA in a press release.

The program would provide grants through public utilities and states, in partnerships with small systems, for customer assistance. The legislation will also: address aging infrastructure; meet growing water quality and quantity challenges; address regulatory requirements and more.  

H.R. 3292 builds on legislation introduced in the 116th Congress by Rep. Katko and former Rep. Fudge (D-OH), and provisions included in the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act. 

According to the NACWA press release, the legislation advances key funding priorities advocated by NACWA and AMWA through the Affordable Water, Resilient Communities campaign. 

“Creating a permanent, reliable low-income water customer assistance program is critically important. NACWA strongly commends Reps. Blunt Rochester and Katko for working together to advance the Low-Income Water Customer Assistance Programs Act,” said Adam Krantz, chief executive officer of NACWA in the NACWA press release. “This legislation acknowledges that a gap exists between the costs of providing essential public clean water services and investing in reliable, resilient infrastructure and the ability of households to pay for them.”

“Just like food and home energy, public health depends on access to drinking water and wastewater services,” said Diane VanDe Hei, chief executive officer of AMWA in the NACWA press release. “The Low-Income Water Customer Assistance Programs Act would supplement ongoing local-level water ratepayer aid programs with a new infusion of federal support, thus providing budget stability to water systems and reassurance to their most vulnerable customers.”

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