IBF views the enactment of The Clean Water Bill as critically important given the historical shortfall in clean water infrastructure funding in Delaware. A clean water task force found the state needed to spend $100 million annually on water quality issues and there are estimates of nearly $600 million required to address a backlog of clean water infrastructure. Major sources of pollution include agriculture, industry, lawn treatments, coal ash and septic systems.
In support of the legislation over the years, the IBF Board and members have:
- Identified the legislation as a top priority in their annual meeting with Governor Carney
- Participated in the Southern Delaware Clean Water Alliance Forum to identify strategies for securing dedicated clean water funding
- Engaged speakers at IBF monthly meetings including local clean energy activist Charlie Garlow on how to be effective in meetings with Delaware legislators in support of the clean water bill
- Attended League of Women Voters meeting in Dover to work on clean water legislation and meet with legislators
- Donated to and participated in the 5th Annual Clean Water Rally, which included the initial hearing for a new funding bill (HB200) in the House Natural Resources Committee. Submitted supporting testimony along with more than 100 other Water Warriors. The Committee voted to release the bill. It is currently awaiting action in the House Appropriations Committee during the next legislative session.
Years of hard work by many finally brought together the environmental communities and state legislators of both parties. On July 22, 2021, Governor John Carney signed into law House Bill 200, the Clean Water for Delaware Act, which creates a new Clean Water Trust to protect Delaware waterways and rebuild drinking water infrastructure with a focus on underserved communities.
Now the hard work of implementing it begins.