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Booker Introduces Bill to Help Communities Across the Country Get Lead Out of Drinking Water

Legislation would provide states with financial tool to advance pressing drinking water infrastructure projects; More than 1.4 million New Jerseyans drink water from a system with high levels of lead

May 24, 2019
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), today introduced legislation that could help communities across the country and New Jersey, including Newark, get the lead out of its drinking water. The Water Infrastructure Funding Transfer Bill would give states flexibility when using federal dollars to fund drinking water infrastructure projects by allowing states facing a threat to public health from lead to transfer federal grant dollars from their Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) to their Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). "Flint is not an anomaly," Senator Booker said. "Communities across the country don't have clean drinking water, and those communities are disproportionately low-income and communities of color. This is an environmental justice issue and our common-sense bill will help communities like Newark finance critical repairs and upgrades to their drinking water systems." Currently, states are limited in how much money they can transfer between the two funds. Many states, including New Jersey, have already transferred the maximum allowable amount from their CWSRF grants to the DWSRF but have additional available funds that could be used immediately to address a threat to public health caused by elevated exposure to lead in drinking water. The state of New Jersey could provide additional resources to communities across New Jersey, including Newark, with this new flexibility. In New Jersey, more than 1.4 million people drink water from one of the state's 35 systems with high levels of lead.