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senate Bill S. 914

Creating & Reauthorizing $35 Billion in Drinking Water & Wastewater Infrastructure Projects

Argument in favor

This bipartisan bill would create and reauthorize a variety of infrastructure programs aimed at improving America’s drinking water and wastewater systems with $35 billion over the next five years.

larubia's Opinion
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04/29/2021
My youngest grandchild has leukemia. The doctors at DuPont Children’s Medical Hospital told us that he is one of a cluster of children from the Seaford, DE area that has been diagnosed with leukemia. They fear that it is environmental. He is 18 months old. If you don’t believe clean water is a priority, I have a small child I would like you to meet: His name is Dawson. He used to be a happy baby. He is now undergoing chemo treatments daily and will for another year and a half. He is fed by a stomach tube, because he can’t keep food down. He has a port through his chest for chemo. The port keeps getting infected, leading to more hospitalizations & more drugs. His mother has had to work from home & take a significant pay cut. As she is the ONLY parent with healthcare, she’s had to threaten legal action just to keep her job. Dad is working round the clock to bring money in and care for the other three children. None of the others can go to school, for fear of the germs they will bring home that may kill their brother. The physical, mental, emotional & financial effects of this diagnosis have left this child & his family devastated. Farming is big in and around this area. I’m guessing this will be tied to the leeching of fertilizer into ground water. The best part is, this may have been legal under tRump era rules regarding clean water. Do I support funding for clean water? YES!!! I also support monies for water testing, emergency plans to augment systems if there is contamination, and holding industries accountable for their waste. I do not wish Dawson’s plight on any other family.
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jimK's Opinion
···
04/29/2021
Read larubia’s comment, that is all you need to see to understand why a clean water infrastructure is necessary. … … … … … … … … … Deep State conspiracy theory nincompoops, just stuff it already - or at least seek some help with respect to whatever water born pathogen is infecting your brains. … … … And stop blaming government agencies for the actions of corrupt politicians who would rather band-aid or market-speak away real world problems instead doing what is both necessary and difficult to resolve them. It was the trump and trumpublicans who put incompetent political appointees in charge of dismantling the missions of key government agencies, who banned the words ‘science based’ from anything published by agency employees, who had unqualified political hacks re-writing CDC guidelines, and who effectively disbanded EPA climate scientific expertise (by demanding that career scientists with established families just pick up and move from there long established homes in Colorado to Washington DC in order to keep their jobs) as punishment for daring to publish scientific research that the trump did not like. … … … If the trumpublican party was in power at the time that the growing ozone hole was discovered, the agencies that discovered it and realized the consequences of the growing ozone hole, actually would not have been empowered to make the decisions that allowed them to even discover it, let alone see the need to fix it. If the EPA administrator was one of trump’s political hack appointees he would never have risked challenging Regan with the facts that the growing ozone layer was a clear and present danger to all animal and plant surface life on earth - a little fact that the general public was never made aware of. Regan did not believe the science but felt moved to act because of the risk that he might be wrong. We used government funds with Congressional approval to get (as I recall) DuPont to find a manufacturable alternative to Freon which was the source of the problem. He and Thatcher went to the UN to lead a global effort to eliminate Freon around the world where it was widely used as a refrigerant, propellant and industrial foaming agent. They got the industrialized world to fund the removal and replacement of Freon in developing countries. Our Congress at that time approved the funds to do our share of all of this. I cannot imagine any of these things happening with the ‘me-first’, America first mentality that pervades the current Republican Party. If today’s Republican Party were in power when Regan decided to not risk ignoring a pending problem, it is doubtful that we would even be here at all, having been sacrificed on the alter of ignorant self-serving near term greed with no regard for the long term consequences of doing nothing - all because it is easier to ignore problems that do not directly benefit themselves or their party than it is to actually resolve them.
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burrkitty's Opinion
···
04/30/2021
I actually work in this industry and god we need investment. More than this actually offers. Flint is a terrible situation, but not that rare. Just the most publicized.
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Argument opposed

This legislation may be bipartisan but it either invests too little or too much money in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure programs across the country.

Freethinker's Opinion
···
04/29/2021
Sounds like a great bill but anything that involves the EPA which is the most corrupt part of government I question. After Flint, MI and the EPAs complete negligence and attempt to hide the truth in addition to all the lawsuits they lost how do I know their corruption has resolved? Someone is not doing their job we have had the Safe Drinking Water Act since the 1970s and if we still have parts of the US where water is not drinkable why do we as the people accept this?! Our government has clearly failed but we continue to pay more taxes and not hold this government accountable. After this bill has passed will there be another Flint Michigan? I’m pretty confident there will be if we just go along with what government says and not actually ask these tough questions.
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B.R.'s Opinion
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04/29/2021
While this bill addresses an important and necessary need, I would not support the additional funding outside the coming infrastructure bill. Priorities need to be set and all unrelated items to the existing infrastructure plan need to be eliminated to accommodate needs such as this.
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J's Opinion
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04/29/2021
Why would this not be a part of the larger infrastructure bill, yet all the other non-infrastructure items are?? Nothing Congress does at this point makes sense. Our country is being run into the ground by political hacks and idiots!
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    My youngest grandchild has leukemia. The doctors at DuPont Children’s Medical Hospital told us that he is one of a cluster of children from the Seaford, DE area that has been diagnosed with leukemia. They fear that it is environmental. He is 18 months old. If you don’t believe clean water is a priority, I have a small child I would like you to meet: His name is Dawson. He used to be a happy baby. He is now undergoing chemo treatments daily and will for another year and a half. He is fed by a stomach tube, because he can’t keep food down. He has a port through his chest for chemo. The port keeps getting infected, leading to more hospitalizations & more drugs. His mother has had to work from home & take a significant pay cut. As she is the ONLY parent with healthcare, she’s had to threaten legal action just to keep her job. Dad is working round the clock to bring money in and care for the other three children. None of the others can go to school, for fear of the germs they will bring home that may kill their brother. The physical, mental, emotional & financial effects of this diagnosis have left this child & his family devastated. Farming is big in and around this area. I’m guessing this will be tied to the leeching of fertilizer into ground water. The best part is, this may have been legal under tRump era rules regarding clean water. Do I support funding for clean water? YES!!! I also support monies for water testing, emergency plans to augment systems if there is contamination, and holding industries accountable for their waste. I do not wish Dawson’s plight on any other family.
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    Sounds like a great bill but anything that involves the EPA which is the most corrupt part of government I question. After Flint, MI and the EPAs complete negligence and attempt to hide the truth in addition to all the lawsuits they lost how do I know their corruption has resolved? Someone is not doing their job we have had the Safe Drinking Water Act since the 1970s and if we still have parts of the US where water is not drinkable why do we as the people accept this?! Our government has clearly failed but we continue to pay more taxes and not hold this government accountable. After this bill has passed will there be another Flint Michigan? I’m pretty confident there will be if we just go along with what government says and not actually ask these tough questions.
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    Read larubia’s comment, that is all you need to see to understand why a clean water infrastructure is necessary. … … … … … … … … … Deep State conspiracy theory nincompoops, just stuff it already - or at least seek some help with respect to whatever water born pathogen is infecting your brains. … … … And stop blaming government agencies for the actions of corrupt politicians who would rather band-aid or market-speak away real world problems instead doing what is both necessary and difficult to resolve them. It was the trump and trumpublicans who put incompetent political appointees in charge of dismantling the missions of key government agencies, who banned the words ‘science based’ from anything published by agency employees, who had unqualified political hacks re-writing CDC guidelines, and who effectively disbanded EPA climate scientific expertise (by demanding that career scientists with established families just pick up and move from there long established homes in Colorado to Washington DC in order to keep their jobs) as punishment for daring to publish scientific research that the trump did not like. … … … If the trumpublican party was in power at the time that the growing ozone hole was discovered, the agencies that discovered it and realized the consequences of the growing ozone hole, actually would not have been empowered to make the decisions that allowed them to even discover it, let alone see the need to fix it. If the EPA administrator was one of trump’s political hack appointees he would never have risked challenging Regan with the facts that the growing ozone layer was a clear and present danger to all animal and plant surface life on earth - a little fact that the general public was never made aware of. Regan did not believe the science but felt moved to act because of the risk that he might be wrong. We used government funds with Congressional approval to get (as I recall) DuPont to find a manufacturable alternative to Freon which was the source of the problem. He and Thatcher went to the UN to lead a global effort to eliminate Freon around the world where it was widely used as a refrigerant, propellant and industrial foaming agent. They got the industrialized world to fund the removal and replacement of Freon in developing countries. Our Congress at that time approved the funds to do our share of all of this. I cannot imagine any of these things happening with the ‘me-first’, America first mentality that pervades the current Republican Party. If today’s Republican Party were in power when Regan decided to not risk ignoring a pending problem, it is doubtful that we would even be here at all, having been sacrificed on the alter of ignorant self-serving near term greed with no regard for the long term consequences of doing nothing - all because it is easier to ignore problems that do not directly benefit themselves or their party than it is to actually resolve them.
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    I actually work in this industry and god we need investment. More than this actually offers. Flint is a terrible situation, but not that rare. Just the most publicized.
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    Senators, We most strongly urge you to vote “Yes” for S. 914, a bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to reauthorize programs under those Acts, and for other purposes. The reasons for doing so are abundantly clear: "This legislation aligns with the Administration’s goals to upgrade and modernize aging infrastructure, improve the health of children and small and disadvantaged communities, develop new technologies, and help address cybersecurity threats and mitigate dangers from climate change … "Across the country, pipes and treatment plants are aging, undermining the reliable delivery of safe drinking water and allowing polluted wastewater to endanger public health and the environment. Large portions of U.S. water and wastewater systems were built over a century ago. As pipes and plants reach the end of their expected lifespan, they must be upgraded and replaced. An estimated six to ten million homes still receive drinking water through lead pipes and service lines. "S. 914 authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency’s core water infrastructure funding programs and continues the commitment to partnering with States, Tribes, and territories to invest in infrastructure projects in communities across the United States, ensuring that all Americans, especially those living in underserved communities, have access to safe and clean water and opportunities for economic growth. S. 914 authorizes programs to address lead pipes and service lines in our drinking water systems. It supports small, disadvantaged, and rural communities, including Tribal communities, through grant programs that promote environmental justice. S. 914 authorizes increased funding levels and provides program flexibilities to enable investments in water projects that address aging infrastructure, improve availability and access to drinking water and wastewater services, and improve water quality. It authorizes programs to connect households to public water and wastewater services, provide technical assistance on decentralized wastewater systems, and improve sanitation in rural Alaska and Alaska Native villages. S. 914 promotes resiliency projects to address the impacts of climate change and makes explicit that cybersecurity projects are eligible for key programs. The legislation also authorizes funding to address recruitment, training, and retention challenges facing the water and wastewater utility workforce." From https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/SAP-S.-914.pd
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    Reading through Larubia's response was heartbreaking and a sober reminder that bad policies make life hell on the people that are the recipients of these policies. They affect us all. One has only to look at Flint, Michigan and see how Republican's policies have allowed stupidity to reign over common sense in regards to saving money at the expense of the people they serve. Now they are stuck with several deaths from Legionaries and the amount of lead poisoning is staggering. There is over $600 million dollar settlement that is being distributed to the victims and the city is still left with replacing the pipes that leached lead into the drinking water of the residents of Flint. There are plenty of other cities where they are left with 100 year old inlet pipes to people's houses from the street, pipes in the streets and the wastewater pipes bringing waste away from homes and businesses. China is spending money hand over fist to become dominant on the world stage in trade, infrastructure and investing in their country. We are left with obstructionism and the mantra that anything we spend is too much money. Nothing was done with infrastructure in the previous administration and they are already crying over the cost of what Biden is proposing currently. We never seem to have too much money to give away in the form of tax cuts to the wealthiest among us yet reject anything that will benefit the average citizen. Get this done as it is an investment that we cannot afford not to be a part of.
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    While this bill addresses an important and necessary need, I would not support the additional funding outside the coming infrastructure bill. Priorities need to be set and all unrelated items to the existing infrastructure plan need to be eliminated to accommodate needs such as this.
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    Having clean water available for everyone in the US should be a top priority. Not having clean water causes health problems like @LaRubia described with her grandchild, Flint Michigan, or Jackson Mississippi experienced. Besides the human tragedy of it all, the health problems will cost far more than the water infrastructure projects. We need to get this right as the health of everyone in this country depends on it! Back in the 1960s when my father was a local politician our city took on an ambitious water treatment project to insure safe drinking water and sewage disposal which was very forward thinking for the times. When I moved East for school and later stayed living in several east coast states I was very surprised to discover than none had used their tax dollars for projects like this despite having much higher taxes. Here we are 60+ years later and we still haven’t fixed the problem. @Randall: Agree with your assessment. Aligns with my father-in-law’s, who did infrastructure projects for the world bank, assessment of US infrastructure going as far back as the 1980s so have included it at the end of my post for my legislatures to see below, “I am a Professional engineer who has worked in the water industries for the last quarter of a century. During the thirties, the cccs built and upgraded America’s infrastructure. everything from campgrounds in parks, highways and rails, irrigation systems, to water and waste water systems. That work continued with various levels of f4ederal support through the the fifties. And then tapered off. The life of all of that work was 25 to 50-years. All of it is now wearing out. America’s water, waste water, and highway systems, have all been getting at best D ratings by the American Society of Civil Engineers, since the eighties. Our society depends on these systems for it’s very existence. We as a society need to raise taxes, and fix the things the Greatest Generation left us. Or, watch America degrade to a second world nation. To me the solution is simple: Raise the taxes on the top five percent to what they were during the thirties, forties, and early fifties, and invest the money in America, just like when America was GREAST, or continue to say we are great, as we sink into irrelevancy. The next two years is going to show us which of our legislators work for the good of America, and who works for the benefit of their rich donors.”
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    Should be self-evident.
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    Safe drinking water. This should not be up for discussion? This should not be something that has to be debated and renewed? But unfortunately there are countless millions throughout the world who do not have access to safe drinking water. Or water period. Many in our supposedly richest country in the world struggle to survive. But oh yea man, we gotta irrigate like hell to maintain those green lawns and golf courses!
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    We all deserve clean water to drink.
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    Off topic. Another reminder of the hypocrisy of Mitch McConnell and his acolyte Republicans. Which party tried to set aside the Constitution to which they swore an oath to uphold from November 2020 until March 2021? Which party is making voting harder for political advantage today? Which party has hired a company, Cyber Ninjas, founded by someone who publicly supported Trump’s Big Lie and is trying to cloak their activities in secrecy to audit votes in the 2020 election in Maricopa County? Which party has gathered to itself via “election reform” under the claim of protecting against voter fraud the power via legislatures to set aside the vote by state residents and pick which candidate in presidential elections gets the state’s electoral vote? Which party paints themselves as being for the “working man and woman” while consistently enacting legislation that favors the wealthy and corporations seemingly in return for big donations (2020 is the first year dark money donations to Democrats exceeded those to Republicans)? Which party has most aggressively used gerrymandering for political advantage and plans to even more use it this year in coordination with vote suppression measures? The answer to all of the above is the Republican Party. Tweet See new Tweets Tweet Igor Bobic @igorbobic · 3h Replying to @igorbobic McConnell says Democrats "have become addicted to divide and conquer. lawhawk #maskingforafriend @lawhawk · 3h Grim Reaper whose agenda was: tax cuts for millionaires, packing the courts with right wingers and obstructing functioning govt and denying Obama's nominees hearings/votes, says what? Twitter users quickly reminded McConnell of the civil unrest that erupted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and who was responsible for it. Some also name-dropped former President Donald Trump as they recalled the great lengths he'd gone to stay in power and how some Republican leaders and lawmakers also aided in the fight to overturn the results of the election. https://www.alternet.org/2021/04/mitch-mcconnell-2652824187/
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    What is more important than clean drinking water? We especially need to invest in programs like this to update and maintain clean drinking water and wastewater systems. In my area municipalities are struggling to pay for upgrades to sewer systems and saddling their rate-payers with extremely high bills, which is unfair since homeowners aren't to blame for aging water infrastructure. We have to invest to upgrade these systems for all Americans, no matter the neighborhood or area.
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    EPA would be directed to create a water data sharing pilot program aimed at ensuring the coordination of data and information regarding water quality and needs between state and local governments. It would be authorized at $15 million annually for FY2022-26. Additionally, this bill would: Reauthorize the Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act program at $50 million annually for FY2022-26. Direct EPA to facilitate grants to institutions to serve as centers of excellence for stormwater control infrastructure technologies. Direct EPA to create a Water Reuse Interagency Working Group to identify ways to support water reuse and compile a national action plan to support the initiative. Additionally, no clean water means no life.
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    In the early 2000s, when I still lived in Europe, it was fairly easy to get domestic “gray water” recycling for your home (as well as solar tiles & panels, and wind turbines for your roof). Why Americans are always so hesitant to do better for the environment (ergo, for ourselves) is beyond my comprehension. In Florida, where I live now, you can see that our aquifers are depleting faster than being replenished (retention ponds draining). We regularly have incidents where waste water gets into our waterways, feeding toxic algal blooms. Injecting partially treated water beneath aquifers for drinking water is no solution either because those deeper aquifers will one day be called upon as drinking water (it’s not a big leap to understand why this would be). Fresh water is a necessity for life; Florida is more vulnerable probably than other states, and huge numbers of people move here daily ... it is not brain surgery to know that protecting and enhancing fresh water availability is critical.
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    YES! There is NO REASON that the US is the wealthiest country in the world and has some of the worst water quality standards! Get PFAS/PFOA/PTFE, heavy metals, and toxic chemicals out of our water supply! Paris, France has a perfect way of ozonating water and purifying it WITHOUT any chemicals. We should follow in their footsteps and make it even better, let’s make American the best and safest place to drink water in the world!
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    Seriously it’s embarrassing that the richest country is poisoning it’s people
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    What larubia said - no more comment is needed. Pass the bill. Jim Hagedorn: I'm expecting you to vote for this bill.
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    Please vote for quality water and infrastructure which goes with it.
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    About damn time....
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