Final Water Bill, Including Critically Needed Flint Aid and Key Priorities, Clears Congress

12-10-2016 // Miles Grant

Washington, DC – The Senate today passed a final Water Resources Development Act, the Water Infrastructure and Investment Act (WIIN) that will send needed aid to Flint, Michigan to replace lead contaminated pipes and ensure clean drinking water, while also assisting other communities with unsafe levels of lead in their drinking water. The bill will authorize two key ecosystem restoration projects to protect and restore the Everglades and Los Angeles River and authorizes key regional restoration programs for the Delaware River Basin, Great Lakes, Lake Tahoe and Long Island Sound. The bill also passed the House on Friday and President Obama is expected to sign it.

Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said in response:

“This vote will ensure cleaner water and more resilient communities for tens of millions of Americans. 

“For our partners in Flint, they can be proud that Republicans and Democrats finally came together to ensure that their children will no longer have to drink toxic water coming out of the faucet. We thank Mayor Karen Weaver and the tireless residents of Flint, the Michigan Delegation, especially Senators Stabenow and Peters and Rep. Kildee, and the bipartisan leadership of Chairman Inhofe, all of whom fought tenaciously to make sure Flint received the necessary funding to invest in the infrastructure and natural systems that support the basic right to access clean water for its nearly 100,000 residents.

“The bill also makes urgently needed investment in critical restoration efforts in the Great Lakes, the Everglades, the Delaware River, and California’s Salton Sea and Los Angeles River. Regrettably, the bill also contains some provisions of concern, including sections that may hurt freshwater flows for salmon and the endangered delta smelt in California, but overall this bill represents critical progress for America’s waterways and wildlife.”

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