Sierra Club Statement on Passage of Senate Water Infrastructure Bill #WateringDownProtections

On September 15th, the U.S. Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act, a bill to authorize and fund a number of water infrastructure and navigation projects around the country.The bill contains provisions that could dilute the protections established by new federal regulations governing the disposal of toxic coal ash, allowing instead for a patchwork of requirements that different from state to state, with the apparent intent of reducing utilities’ exposure to liability. The bill is also the vehicle to advance $100 million in funding for water infrastructure repair and replacement in Flint, Michigan. The provisions on coal ash are not a part of the House version of the bill.

In response, Sierra Club Legislative Director Melinda Pierce released the following statement:

“The Sierra Club is disappointed that the Senate has used a bill meant to strengthen our critical water infrastructure to jeopardize the efficacy of new coal ash disposal standards. However, we are glad to see the Senate finally dedicate funds to repairing and replacing Flint’s lead-lined water infrastructure. The people of Flint have waited too long for comprehensive support and environmental justice.”

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