In support of the $2 trillion “American Jobs Plan”, representative Paul Tonko introduced a $100 billion plan for clean drinking water. The Albany democrat has been working for years to create reform in water infrastructure. Infrastructure issues are a problem nationwide and this plan would endeavor to treat the dangers. $45 million would be directed to lead pipes that contaminate the water that travels through them. Roughly half of the budget would focus on grants and loan programs, to support cities and towns on a case-by-case basis. The rest of the funding would go towards chemical treatment, cleaning contaminated water systems. In his statement Tonko emphasizes that “out of sight cannot mean out of mind.”
A city that could benefit from this funding is that of Newburgh, New York. Their water system is old and corrosive, facing threats all over. Lead pipes that are seeping into the water, hazardous chemicals and more. Each of these on their own would be threatening to the populace, together they are an immediate threat. Superintendent of the Newburgh Water Department, Wayne Vradenburgh spoke of the plan to Spectrum Local News with hope. “At the end of the year, we have to slow down because we’re running out of money. If the money’s there, I don’t have to slow down. I can just keep going.” The plan is still in its early phases, as representatives debate its merits on Capitol Hill. The President hopes that the bill could see implementation by the end of the summer.
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