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Monday, February 6th, 2023

Reps. Thompson, Maloney request review of GAO water sector efforts

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U.S. Reps. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) recently requested the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct a study evaluating the efforts of two agencies identifying wastewater utilities vulnerable to potential shutdowns.

Thompson, chair of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Maloney, chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, forwarded correspondence to Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro regarding the request.

“We are writing to request that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct a study to evaluate efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to identify and assist water and wastewater utilities that are vulnerable to shutdown from natural and other disasters, such as terrorist attacks and chemical and industrial accidents,” the legislators wrote. “It is important that the EPA and DHS make progress on their water sector efforts so that all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards.”

The lawmakers requested information regarding how the EPA and DHS are identifying and prioritizing water and wastewater utilities as a means of ensuring they are meeting goals of providing clean and safe water and resilient communities; how the agencies are identifying and prioritizing utilities to receive assistance from funding programs; and how the agencies are incorporating equity into the programs.