News Briefs: Alabama Black Belt Town Gets Funding Lifeline to Salvage Sewers

Also in this month's sewer and water news, as health concerns escalate after a train derailment in Ohio spilled hazardous chemicals, utilities across state lines are enhancing water quality monitoring

News Briefs: Alabama Black Belt Town Gets Funding Lifeline to Salvage Sewers

A small community in the Black Belt of Alabama will receive a $10 million fund to rectify a deteriorating sewage infrastructure that has impeded the town's progress for several years, according to its residents.

State and federal authorities recently traveled to Hayneville, a small town in Lowndes County, to sign paperwork designating $10 million to overhaul and enhance the municipality's sewage system. Lance LeFleur, director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, told that the funds will make a difference. “This is the highlight of my year so far, and probably the highlight of the last several years. We are happy to see it happen and it means so much to the people of the Hayneville area.”

Ohio Train Derailment Sparks Water Worries Beyond State Borders

As health concerns escalate after a train derailment in Ohio spilled hazardous chemicals, West Virginia American Water is enhancing its water treatment and installing a secondary intake on the Guyandotte River. The utility confirmed that there has been no change in raw water at its Ohio River intake.

"The health and safety of our customers is a priority, and there are currently no drinking water advisories in place for customers," the company said in a statement, according to FOX News.

Meanwhile, Greater Cincinnati Water Works is also keeping a close watch on water quality in the Cincinnati region in the wake of the train derailment.

EPA Announces $2 Billion in Funding to Address Emerging Contaminants like PFAS in Drinking Water

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan recently announced the availability of $2 billion from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to address emerging contaminants like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water across the country. 

This investment, which is allocated to states and territories, will be made available to communities as grants through EPA’s Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (EC-SDC) Grant Program and will promote access to safe and clean water in small, rural and disadvantaged communities while supporting local economies. Regan announced the water infrastructure investments in Maysville, North Carolina, while holding a community roundtable with North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser and other state and local leaders. 

“Too many American communities, especially those that are small, rural or underserved, are suffering from exposure to PFAS and other harmful contaminants in their drinking water,” says Regan. “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are investing in America and providing billions of dollars to strengthen our nation’s water infrastructure while safeguarding people’s health and boosting local economies. These grants build on EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap and will help protect our smallest and most vulnerable communities from these persistent and dangerous chemicals.”


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