VIDEO | Gov. Carney, In Lewes, Signs Clean Water Initiative

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Governor John Carney was in Lewes Thursday to sign the Clean Water for Delaware Act (House Bill 200), which sets up a process and a source of funding to improve the quality of Delaware’s water supply and to address issues that affect the state’s waterways.

Carney also announced a plan to address wastewater and drinking water issues in underserved communities throughout Delaware, the Clean Water Trust.

“All Delawareans deserve clean water. The Clean Water for Delaware Act and our new Clean Water Trust will help us deliver on that promise,” Carney said. “This legislation and unprecedented investment, which had bipartisan support, will help us protect our waterways for future generations of Delawareans, and upgrade our infrastructure to make sure all Delaware families have access to clean drinking water. Thank you to Representative Longhurst, Senator Townsend, the Delaware Nature Society and all the advocates who have worked on this issue for years.”

The Delaware Fiscal Year 2022 budget contains $50-million to pay for water quality and water-related projects. Issues that could be addressed include infrastructure for drinking water, stormwater and wastewater, drainage, waterway management, beach preservation and other programs including conservation reserve enhancement, conservation cost-sharing and tax ditches.

“In Delaware, the quality of our water resources is directly linked to the health and vibrancy of our communities up and down the state. Whether it’s water and wastewater infrastructure to support smart development in New Castle County, the needs of our agricultural industry downstate, or the challenges our coastal communities face with flooding and sea level rise, so much falls under the banner of clean water in Delaware,” House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear said. “My goal with the Clean Water for Delaware Act was to create an innovative new program to fund projects that would tackle water quality challenges on many fronts. We will help to right the wrongs of the past and, perhaps most importantly, we will set Delaware on a path to a future where people from all walks of life can enjoy the beauty and splendor of our streams, rivers, lakes and beaches.”

“I want to recognize Carney, Representative Longhurst and the entire General Assembly, and all stakeholders for their support in giving DNREC additional tools to help the state realize the goal of Clean Water for all Delawareans,” Delaware Natural Resources Secretary Shawn Garvin said. “With this legislation, through the Clean Water Trust, we will be able to bring more resources to bear and more partners to the table to address the water challenges of our state. And though the Governor’s Clean Water Initiative, state agencies, particularly DHSS and DNREC, are in a position to lift those who until now might have been thwarted by circumstances, costs or lack of community governance structure from their right to safe drinking water and proper wastewater treatment.”

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