Rural Water Bill Signed Into Law - - Jackson, MS

Rural Water Bill Signed Into Law

WASHINGTON, D. C (Mississippi News Now) -

In a press release Monday,  U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and U.S. Representative Gregg Harper, R-Miss.,  announced  their bipartisan legislation to help rural and small communities comply with federal “safe drinking water” regulations has been signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Wicker and Heitkamp introduced the bill, titled the “Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act,” S. 611, in February of this year. It received final Senate passage in June and was approved by the House in November.

“More than 90 percent of the drinking water supplied in our country comes from small and rural communities, many of which lack the resources to meet revised EPA safe drinking water standards,” said Wicker. “In order for these areas to comply with federal regulations, they need greater access to critical assistance and training programs. I am pleased that Sen. Heitkamp, Rep. Harper, and I were able to work together on a bill that helps guarantee that the nation’s rural areas will be able to provide safe, clean water for their citizens.”

According to Senator Wicker's office, the legislation improves and reauthorizes the “Safe Drinking Water Act” (SDWA) program, which provides technical assistance and training provisions for $15 million per year over the next six years – the same as was previously authorized – to assist small and rural public water systems in complying with National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. The last authorization of the bill expired in 2004.

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