APWA Supports Voluntary Partnership Legislation


On June 24, APWA, along with eight other water sector stakeholders, issued a letter to leadership of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works to support legislation related to voluntary partnerships for water utilities. S. 2596, the Voluntary Partnerships for Distressed Communities Act of 2019, was introduced by Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).

This bill would encourage systems in significant noncompliance to voluntarily partner with successful utilities, while limiting liability for the Good Samaritan water utility. Many successful utilities have expressed the desire to help their neighbors but are hesitant to do so because of the potential of transfer of liability. This voluntary decision to partner with a Good Samaritan would be made solely by the local community with the struggling water system – not the EPA, the state, or any other utility.

The letter asks Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) to include this legislation within the final package of the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020. That bill is bipartisan legislation that would provide funding for drinking water infrastructure projects across the country. 

To learn more about this legislation or APWA's water policy priorities, please contact Government Affairs Manager Sean Garcia.