PARLIER, California (KSEE/KGPE) – With city mayors supporting him, Congressman TJ Cox on Monday introduced a bill that could give small communities in the valley what they’ve been waiting for– clean and safe drinking water.
“These are small communities, largely communities of color, that just don’t have the access to clean, fresh, drinking water,” Cox said.
The Disadvantaged Community Drinking Water Assistance Act would provide more than $100 million in grants for things like construction, technical assistance, and maintenance. It would also expand the number of communities that are eligible for assistance.
“We’re not such a tiny community that we can go after grants that come out, but we’re still not large enough for other grants,” Delano Councilmember Grace Vallejo said.
Cox’s bill aims to fill in that gap. Cities with a population of fewer than 60,000 people would qualify as well as households that make an income that’s less than $64,800 a year.
“You have communities like Huron, they’re paying $120 a month, just for water, and a lot of times, it’s water that they can’t drink. To me, that is unacceptable.”
The promise to bring clean water to his district is one of the things Cox ran his campaign on. He said he’ll introduce his bill in Washington, D.C. tomorrow.
“There’s huge health concerns because of port water, and I think the water that I drink or anybody in Washington, D.C. drinks should be the same water that’s available to the 21st district and certainly the central valley as well,” Cox said.”