DPW Director Chow Issues Statement of Support for U.S. Senate Bill to Help Families With Water Costs

Press Release

United States Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) introduced Oct. 10, 2018, a bill (the Low-Income Water Customer Assistance Programs Act of 2018, S. 3564) to establish 32 nationwide pilot programs to provide low-income residents with financial assistance to pay their water and sewer bills.  Under the terms of the bill, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) could qualify as a pilot program site. Qualifying factors include a water/sewer utility having 20 percent of the population served with incomes under the federal poverty line and serving between 100,000 and 1 million people. DPW Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E., joined, Sen. Cardin and Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh at an Oct. 31 press conference to highlight the legislation.

“The Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) welcomes the introduction of the Low-Income Water Customer Assistance Programs Act. DPW is struggling to repair aging water and sewer infrastructure, meet requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act, and comply with an agreement with the federal government to reduce sanitary sewer overflows. In recent years, we’ve raised our water rates to meet the immediate and long-term needs of water customers and the mandates of federal regulations. 

As we work toward meeting federal obligations and making infrastructure repairs, we cannot lose sight of the effect these increasing costs have on our most economically vulnerable customers. At DPW we recognize the challenges and sacrifices required to fix the aging water and sewer system in a city with a high rate of  poverty. Building on DPW’s current financial assistance programs, the legislation introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin would help DPW meet its commitments to repair and maintain its infrastructure while helping to ensure that low-income consumers receive the financial help that they need.”

For more information about DPW’s financial assistance programs, please visit https://publicworks.baltimorecity.gov/Water-Billing-Programs-to-Assist-Residents.

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The Baltimore City Department of Public Works supports the health, environment, and economy of our City and region by cleaning our neighborhoods and waterways and providing its customers with safe drinking water and sustainable energy practices.