WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, today introduced the Assuring Quality Water Infrastructure Act of 2019. The legislation aims to improve infrastructure asset management on the part of small public water systems.

“Small water systems are losing money with every ounce of water wasted,” Senator Capito said. “This legislation would help those systems identify and prevent leaks resulting from infrastructure failures. As Chairman of EPW’s Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, I’m working with Ranking Member Cardin to enhance the sustainability and resilience of water and wastewater infrastructure for our communities.”

“Ensuring reliable, modern water infrastructure is a fundamental responsibility of government. Small, rural systems are particularly strained and need support to protect this most precious resource,” said Senator Cardin. “I’m proud of our bipartisan solution that focuses support for stopping the leaks that are costing our rural water systems and the communities they serve.”

“Consistently delivering safe and reliable water right to the tap starts with effective infrastructure asset management. West Virginia Rural Water Association applauds the introduction of the Assuring Quality Water Infrastructure Act of 2019 because it will provide small and rural communities across West Virginia and the country with additional funding to address water system deficiencies. Implementing successful, long-term asset management programs is essential to the health and vitality of rural America. We are grateful Senator Capito understands the needs of small systems and is taking action to protect and improve this critical infrastructure," said Amy Swann, Executive Director of WVRWA.

“The Maryland Rural Water Association strongly endorses the Assuring Quality Water Infrastructure Act of 2019 to establish a grant program for improving infrastructure and asset management by small public water systems. This bill would help provide critical resources to address numerous issues affecting our abilities to provide clean and safe drinking water in Maryland and throughout the country. MRWA is a strong advocate for the funding of any measure that would aid small water systems in the management and sustainability of their infrastructure,” said Sue H. Houghton, Executive Director and CEO of the Maryland Rural Water Association.

Also today, both senators participated in a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing titled “Improving American Economic Competitiveness through Water Resources Infrastructure: Federal Panel.” During the hearing, Senator Capito questioned EPA Office of Water’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy Charlotte Bertrand about the issues this legislation would address. Click here to watch the full exchange and click here to watch the full hearing.

The Assuring Quality Water Infrastructure Act of 2019

  • Directs the EPA Administrator to establish a program to provide grants to units of local government, as well as nonprofit entities that own or operate a public water system.
  • Describes eligible activities to improve infrastructure asset management as including: the development of asset inventories and maps, the deployment of leak detection and metering technologies, and training in other asset management concepts, tools, and techniques.
  • Authorizes $5 million annually for Fiscal Years 2021 through 2025.

Click here to view full text of the bill.

Click here to view a one-pager on the bill. 

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