A provision included in Congress's year-end funding package will help ensure that safe and affordable public drinking water is available in small and rural communities.
A federal law passed in 1996 authorized technical assistance for small and rural communities to assist them in complying with rules and regulations promulgated under the "Safe Drinking Water Act." This program aims to ensure that federal regulations do not overwhelm rural water resources.
However, this Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program has often not been a priority resulting in funds to more-populated areas of the country, putting at risk access to safe drinking water for thousands of rural citizens.
A bill that I introduced, H.R. 1427, would reauthorize and modernize the much needed technical assistance and compliance training initiative to ensure that federal regulations do not burden small water districts' resources. Congressional negotiators included a variation of this language into an agreement to fund the government for 2012, which guarantees that these support services remain available.
This initiative provides smaller communities -- the exact areas intended to be reached by this program -- with the necessary federal resources to comply with clean water laws. Without these services, safe and clean water for rural Mississippians would be put in jeopardy.
Member of Congress