Delaware Governor John Carney signed into law House Bill 200, the Clean Water for Delaware Act.
This bill creates a new Clean Water Trust with the goal of protecting Delaware waterways and rebuilding Delaware’s drinking water infrastructure, reported Delaware’s Government website. This will specifically benefit underserved communities and comes just in time for National Water Quality Month.
The bill establishes a framework for water needs and implementing projects that support efforts to improve the quality of the state’s water supply and waterways, according to Delaware’s Government website. The Clean Water for Delaware Act calls for creating the Delaware Clean Water Trust, supported by $50 million in the fiscal year 2022 budget.
HB 200 is sponsored by House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst.
“All Delawareans deserve clean water. The Clean Water for Delaware Act and our new Clean Water Trust will help us deliver on that promise,” said Governor Carney in the statement on Delaware’s Government website. “This legislation and unprecedented investment, which had bipartisan support, will help us protect our waterways for future generations of Delawareans, and upgrade our infrastructure to make sure all Delaware families have access to clean drinking water. Thank you to Representative Longhurst, Senator Townsend, the Delaware Nature Society and all the advocates who have worked on this issue for years.”
The Clean Water for Delaware Act spans numerous water quality programs, which will be supported by the Clean Water Trust funding. These water quality programs include: infrastructure for drinking water, storm water and wastewater, drainage, waterway management and beach preservation, flood protection and more. These projects are funded by separate state and federal resources, according to Delaware’s Government website.
“House Bill 200 and the new clean water funding investments are a game changer for Delaware,” said Delaware Nature Society Interim Executive Director Joanne McGeoch in the statement on Delaware’s Government website. “Clean water is critical to Delaware’s environment, wildlife, economy, food supply, and public health. HB 200 will ensure that this vital resource is protected today and for future generations.”
The Act supports the Governor’s Clean Water Initiative for Underserved Communities that is part of DNREC’s work with the state’s low-income, underserved communities.