Legislation efforts to bring clean drinking water to DE residents
DELAWARE – Lawmakers aim to address the lack of drinkable water in under-served communities throughout the state. House Bill 69, also known as the water purification act would provide purification systems for households whose water isn’t drinkable.
The bills primary sponsor told 47 ABC, legislation has dealt with many issues involving drinkable water for all Delaware residents, and this just might be the year they’re able to do something about it.
“There needs to be an intermediate solution to these families that are still using this water every day for bathing, drinking, cooking their food,” says Delaware Representative Bryan Shupe.
House Bill 69 calls for a 2 year residential drinking water purification system pilot program. In conjunction with the Department of Health and Social Services, this bill addresses the ongoing issues that Delaware residents have faced in regards to drink-able water. “To get safe filtration systems on their home until we can address the water issues that we’ve had in Delaware for literally generations,” says Rep. Shupe.
Under the legislation, the program would be run by DHSS, who would purchase and provide the filtration systems to homes. For Rep. Shupe, he tells me the matter is personal to him. He says his time as Mayor of Milford allowed him to witness under served community issues, especially when it came to something as simple as clean water.
“As we’re fixing our water, our unsafe drinking water in the state of Delaware from top to bottom, a way to get these families that cannot afford to have a solution themselves,” says Rep. Shupe. He also adds, he brought a bill similar to this last year at the general assembly that did not pass, partially because of questions about funding.
However, this year he says with a 2 year program and grant funding, this bill has much more support, which will allow the results to speak for themselves. “Look this is a test, we want to see how far it goes, how well it works and come get back to you in two years and show you the success of the bill,” says Rep. Shupe.
Representative Shupe also says, the department of health will go to under-served communities, test their water and if it comes back un-drinkable, as long as families meet the criteria they are eligible to receive a grant to put filtration system on these homes. Families making 200% under the median income would be among those who qualify.
Legislators also tell 47 abc, if the bill were to pass a partnership between state government, non-profits and local businesses would be needed to make this work.
House bill 69 is currently in the Houses Health & Human Development Committee.