Harris announces $5.8 billion for water infrastructure projects, says clean water is a right

Harris announces $5.8 billion for water infrastructure projects, says clean water is a right
February 21, 2024 The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration announced Tuesday that states will share $5.8 billion in federal funds for water infrastructure projects around the country, paid for by one of its key legislative victories.

The new round of funding will help pay for projects nationwide, bringing the total awarded to states for water infrastructure improvements to $22 billion. The money comes from the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law that President Joe Biden signed in 2021, according to the White House.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who traveled to Pittsburgh to make the announcement, said everyone in the U.S. should be able to have clean water.

“I shouldn’t have to say that, but it does come down to that,” Harris said. “Every person should have a right and the ability to have access to clean water, and it should not matter where you live or how much money you earn or how much money you got in your back pocket,” she said.

Harris said more than $200 million of the new federal funding will go to Pennsylvania, one of several states that will help determine whether Biden is reelected in November. The money will go toward replacing lead pipes and aging water mains and storm drains, she said.

The infrastructure law includes over $50 billion to upgrade America’s water infrastructure and is touted by the Biden administration as the largest investment in clean water in U.S. history.

The White House said Tuesday’s announcement includes $3.2 billion for what’s known as the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund that can be used for upgrades to water treatment plants, water distribution and piping systems, and lead pipe replacement. It also includes $1 billion for seven major rural water projects and $1 billion in support for Great Lakes drinking water projects.

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Featured image: Workmen prepare to replace older water pipes with a new copper one in Newark, N.J., Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Lead pipes have caused harm for decades. In recent years, residents in Newark and Benton Harbor, Mich., were forced to use bottled water for basic needs like cooking and drinking, after tests revealed elevated levels of lead. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)


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