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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago


April 16, 2021

Contact: Courtney Jacquin  

Duckworth Discusses Her Bipartisan Drinking Water Infrastructure Bill with Cook County Water Policy Leaders

CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chair of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife today met virtually with local environmental leaders to discuss her recently-introduced Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 (DWWIA 2021). The bipartisan legislation authorizes more than $35 billion for water resource development projects across the country, which is of vital importance in Illinois, the state with the most lead service lines in the country. Duckworth was joined by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, City of Chicago Department of Water Management Acting Commissioner Andrea Cheng, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) President Kari Steele, MWRD Vice President Barbara McGowan, MWRD Chairman of Finance Marcelino Garcia and MWRD Commissioners Josina Morita, Debra Shore, Kim DuBuclet, Eira Corral Sepúlveda and Mariyana Spyropoulos.

“Every American has a right to clean water—no matter their zip code, the color of their skin or the size of their income,” said Duckworth. “From permanent brain damage caused by drinking water contaminated with lead to overflowing sewage, Americans across the country are now experiencing the negative impacts of allowing our drinking water and wastewater systems to fall into a state of disrepair. I was glad to connect with these local leaders today to discuss the importance of this legislation for the Chicago area, and I look forward to continuing to work together to support important environmental issues across Illinois.”

“Senator Duckworth demonstrated remarkable leadership by championing The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act,” said Cheng. The legislation would be a game-changer for Chicago, helping to expedite our commitment to replacing hundreds of thousands of service lines across the city.”

“We commend Senator Duckworth for convening this roundtable regarding her Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021,” said Steele. “This legislation is important and supported by the District as it makes significant investments in the Environmental Protection Agency grant programs and revolving loan programs that are so essential to the District and forms the backbone of our efforts to improve the water quality for the over 5 million residents that we serve.” 

Duckworth’s bipartisan DWWIA 2021 would make significant investments in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant programs and revolving loan funds that support our nation’s water infrastructure. The EPW committee unanimously passed the bipartisan legislation last month. Earlier this month, Duckworth and Senator Durbin also called on EPA to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act’s Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). Duckworth is the co-founder of the Senate’s first-ever Environmental Justice Caucus. 

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Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.


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