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Tell Congress: Pass the WATER Act

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"Pass the WATER Act."

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    Tell Congress: Pass the WATER Act

    Four years after it began, Flint, Michigan's water crisis is not over. Earlier this year, tests showed lead levels above the federal limit in the water at five of nine Flint schools.1

    But we now know that the crisis goes far, far beyond Flint – and the children poisoned in Flint are not alone. Over 3,000 American neighborhoods have childhood lead poisoning rates at least double those in Flint during the peak of its contamination crisis.2 Over 1,000 areas tested with a rate of elevated blood levels at least four times as high as Flint’s at the height of the crisis.3 In one neighborhood in Cleveland, nearly half the children have lead poisoning.4

    No family should fear that turning on the tap could poison their child and harm them for life – no matter what their zip code is. Reps. Keith Ellison and Ro Khanna recently introduced the Water Affordability, Transparency Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act of 2018, which would start the process of addressing this crisis. We must build grassroots support for this crucial legislation now.

    Tell Congress: Pass the WATER Act. 

    Lead is a cumulative toxin particularly harmful to young children, who can suffer profound and permanent damage to the brain and nervous system.5 There is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe. In the wake of its water contamination crisis, Flint saw a measurable rise in miscarriages, fetal deaths and illnesses.6

    In 2016, Congress finally directed $170 million in aid to Flint.7 But the Center for Disease Control's entire budget for assisting states with lead poisoning this year is just one-tenth of that.8 We must do better.

    The WATER Act would provide $35 billion a year in federal funding to improve community drinking water and wastewater services.9 It would also provide grants to replace lead service lines going into homes, remove lead pipes and plumbing in schools, and upgrade home wells and septic systems.10

    In thousands of neighborhoods across the country, systematic neglect and denial of basic infrastructure are limiting children's futures. No one bill will solve the problem, but we have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference – if our legislators act.

    Tell Congress: Pass the WATER Act. 

    Thanks for fighting back.

    References:

    1. Ron Fonger, "Most Flint schools water tests OK for lead, but problems found in 5 of 9 buildings," MLive, Feb 13, 2018.
    2. M.B. Pell and Joshua Schneyer, Special Report: Thousands of U.S. areas afflicted with lead poisoning beyond Flint's," Reuters, Dec. 19, 2016.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Ibid.
    5. World Health Organization, "Lead poisoning and health: Key facts," Feb. 9, 2018.
    6. Ayana Byrd, "New Legislation Aims to Prevent the Next Flint Water Crisis," Colorlines, April 25, 2018.
    7. M.B. Pell and Joshua Schneyer, <"a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-lead-testing-specialreport-idUSKBN1481BT">Special Report: Thousands of U.S. areas afflicted with lead poisoning beyond Flint's," Reuters, Dec. 19, 2016.
    8. Ibid.
    9. Byrd, "New Legislation Aims to Prevent the Next Flint Water Crisis."
    10. Ibid.