Sewell tells need for improved wastewater infrastructure at House Ways & Means Committee hearing

Published 5:57 pm Wednesday, March 6, 2019

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Special to the Signal

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) focused on the impact of America’s failing infrastructure on public health, including Lowndes and Perry Counties, during the House Ways & Means Committee hearing held Wednesday, March 6.

On the need for immediate action to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, Sewell highlighted the wastewater crisis in Alabama’s Black Belt and questioned the Chair of the Committee for America’s Infrastructure and President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations about the importance of safe and effective water treatment systems in rural communities.

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“Whether you live in rural Alabama or you live in rural New York, infrastructure affects everybody’s everyday life,” Sewell said. “This is basic infrastructure, and in America in 2019, there are parts of my district – Lowndes County, Alabama, for one, Perry County, Alabama – where some of my constituents live in remote locations that are not connected to the water and sewer lines of the county or the city.”

She said they are using septic tanks if they can afford it. But said, “Some are using straight pipes. We all know that with straight pipes there’s a problem of the waste leaving their domicile, going outside, and puddling in the soil, sometimes flowing into the local streams and it’s a serious public health crisis.”

Sewell stressed the need for Congress to think holistically and comprehensively about addressing America’s crumbling infrastructure and urged her colleagues to act swiftly to act to rectify these issues.