MURKOWSKI REINTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO CONSTRUCT WATER AND SEWER SYSTEMS IN RURAL COMMUNITIES IN ALASKA
THE MEASURE PASSED THE SENATE IN 2006, BUT WAS NOT ACTED UPON IN THE HOUSE BEFORE ADJOURNMENT OF THE 109TH CONGRESS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today reintroduced legislation to reauthorize and increase the stream of funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to the State of Alaska for the purposes of constructing water and sewer systems in rural communities in Alaska. The legislation, similar to a bill that passed the Senate in the 109th Congress, will increase and extend funding through FY10 to help ensure all Alaskans have access to modern sanitation services.
“There remain far too many rural communities throughout our state that lack safe and sanitary water and sewer systems, which is clearly causing a detrimental effect on the health of the residents of these communities,” said Senator Murkowski. “We took an important step in the Senate last year by passing this legislation. Unfortunately time ran out in the last Congress before the House could pass the measure. I am hopeful that we can act quickly on this legislation in order to not only improve the health and well being of the residents in these communities, but also to create a long-lasting investment throughout Alaska.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, infants in villages with less than 10 percent of homes with water service are 11 times more likely to be hospitalized for pneumonia and five times more likely to be hospitalized for lower respiratory tract infections. The legislation would increase the authorized level of program funding per fiscal year by 5%.