Bennet, Colleagues Introduce Rural Water Bill

Bipartisan Proposal Would Enable Small Communities to Meet Safe Drinking Water Standards

Washington, DC - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers to introduce a bill to help small and rural communities meet safe drinking water regulations.

"In their efforts to provide clean drinking water to Coloradans, rural water providers often don't have access to the tools and resources needed to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act," Bennet said. "This commonsense bill will reauthorize the EPA's technical assistance and training program to ensure these providers get the support that they need."

The Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act, S. 611 would reauthorize the Safe Drinking Water Act's (SDWA) technical assistance and training provision for six more years.

More than 50,000 small and rural communities, comprising more than 90 percent of the drinking water supplies in the country, are responsible for providing safe, clean water to their citizens. The Environmental Protection Agency's technical assistance and training provision assists these communities in securing the necessary technical expertise to improve and protect their water resources. The initiative has been effective in ensuring implementation of the SDWA in rural areas. Colorado has approximately 2,200 small rural water systems, and the Colorado Rural Water Association has provided technical assistance through this program to more than half of them.

The bill is cosponsored by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Al Franken (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Jim Risch (R-ID), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Jon Tester (D-MT).

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