BALTIMORE — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement in response to media reports that the Obama Administration proposes to remedy the water crisis in Flint, MI, by increasing funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’ (EPA) Drinking Water State Revolving Fund by $158 million by reducing funding from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
“Flint is a case study in what happens when environmental stewardship and water infrastructure needs are ignored. I applaud the Obama Administration for recognizing the urgency in helping the people of Flint access the most basic of human needs; clean water. However, I am grossly disappointed that their proposal to increase the funding for EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund would remove money from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. We cannot take money away from the fund that cleans up the polluted Flint River— the source of Flint’s drinking water – and put it into fixing Flint’s pipes.
“This shortsighted approach not only will fail to solve the problem but potentially could make it worse by distracting from the larger issue at play: Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund are both woefully underfunded. Perhaps even more shocking, this year’s budget request for the Drinking Water fund is actually LESS than what the President requested last year. The water infrastructure in Flint must be replaced, but funding the replacement at the expense of funds designed to remediate the pollution in the Flint River will still leave residents with a polluted water source.”