Over the next two decades, Indiana will need more than $13 billion to repair or replace aging water and wastewater infrastructure. That’s according to the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, which said the Biden administration’s budget plan is a step in the right direction.
Among other things, President Joe Biden’s proposed budget would help reduce lead in drinking water, lessen sewage overflows, keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, and give a big boost to the Environmental Protection Agency.
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It also focuses on helping communities most affected by aging water and wastewater infrastructure — including Black, Brown, Indigenous, people of color and lower-income communities. Monica Lewis-Patrick is the president and CEO of the group We The People Of Detroit.
“The lack of federal investment in our water services over the last 40 years has saddled communities like mine and others with debt and expenses for water infrastructure that they cannot afford," she said.
The U.S. House and Senate have put forth similar proposals, but Laura Rubin, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said they’re not as bold.
“Big problems require big solutions — and the Biden Administration has put forth proposals that don’t shy away from the scale of the action that is needed," she said.
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition said delaying upgrades will only make pollution and health problems caused by aging water and wastewater infrastructure worse and more expensive to fix.
Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.