Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska; and Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, issued statements Jan. 15 after President Donald Trump signed into law the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation that will provide public water utilities in communities across the country with greater flexibility to develop management plans to meet federal standards under the Clean Water Act.

“Every American deserves to know that our nation’s waters are not impaired with contaminants. This bipartisan bill — now signed into law — moves us another step closer to reaching that goal,” said Carper. “The bill will help communities across the country meet federal Clean Water Act standards. It enables public utilities to create community-based water plans and connects municipalities with experts at EPA, thereby providing rural utilities with more of the certainty needed to make long-term water infrastructure investments. What might seem like a small bill will make a big difference for American families, especially those in smaller, more rural areas. I’d like to thank Sens. Brown, Fischer and Cardin, along with their hardworking staffs, for their dedication to getting this across the finish line.”

The Water Infrastructure Improvement Act codifies the Environmental Protection Agency Integrated Planning Framework, which helps public water utilities across the country, including those in smaller, rural communities, to create community-oriented plans for meeting CWA standards. The legislation — now law — also establishes an office of Municipal Ombudsman within EPA to provide municipalities with assistance to comply with CWA standards, and it also includes provisions that will ensure EPA integrates the use of cleaner, more sustainable infrastructure throughout CWA compliance programs.

Full text of the bill is available at bit.ly/2Cmc344.