Sep 25 2020

An estimated 30% of rural water systems are in danger of failing within six months under current financial conditions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced bipartisan legislation that would provide rural communities that are under significant financial strain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency assistance to repair, modernize and renovate failing water infrastructure. The Emergency Support for Rural Water Systems Act would provide $1 billion in emergency grants, low- and zero-interest loans and loan forgiveness for struggling small and rural water and wastewater systems across the nation.

Small rural water and wastewater systems are facing expected losses of at least $3.6 billion this year. As the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, it is estimated 30 percent of systems cannot last more than six months under current financial conditions. The Emergency Support for Rural Water Systems Act would allow rural communities to make necessary improvements and repairs to critical water infrastructure and ensure residents of these rural communities continue to have access to clean drinking water and wastewater treatment services.

“Rural water and wastewater systems in North Carolina and across the county are in dire financial situations due to COVID-19,” said Senator Tillis. “I am proud to co-introduce this bipartisan legislation to provide relief so our rural communities continue to receive clean drinking water.”

The full text of the legislation can be found here.

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