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Seeking to provide continued leadership and clarity during uncertain times, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) is pleased to have joined with a number of its industry partners to submit comments on two critical pieces of water infrastructure legislation the U.S. Senate is considering.
In a pair of letters to Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works, IAPMO and its partners applaud the committee for putting forward bipartisan solutions to the challenges posed by the nation's water infrastructure and recommend additional measures the organizations believe would enhance the legislations' effectiveness.
In one letter, signed by IAPMO, NSF International and the Water Quality Association (WQA), the partners collectively express support for expansion of the Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities program by allowing for the purchase of water filters and point of use/point of entry technologies that have been independently tested and certified, devices that can make life-changing differences to communities faced with inadequate infrastructure or compromised water sources.
Additional proposals recommended in the letter include the following:
The other letter, signed by IAPMO, reiterates suggestions made to the committee by DigDeep on the America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2020. DigDeep is the non-profit organization with whom IAPMO's charitable arm, the IWSH Foundation, has teamed on projects bringing clean water and sanitation systems to remote households in the Navajo Nation. In the letter, IAPMO recommends amendments to a new grant program that would allow greater flexibility, prioritize households without access to utility lines, increase the amount of funding available, and expand the grant program to apply to decentralized drinking water systems.
"Our current health crisis only underscores the fundamental importance of having access to clean water and effective sanitation, particularly in underserved populations," said Dain Hansen, IAPMO executive vice president of government relations. "IAPMO is proud to work with its partners from industry and the nonprofit sector to propose key changes to the Senate's bills that will make this access a reality for communities that have gone too long without."
The letters may be read in their entirety at the following URLs:
The Senate is expected to mark-up both bills, titled America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (AWIA 2020), and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (DWIA 2020), in May. Collectively, this legislation would provide $19.5 billion in resources to address critical water infrastructure needs.