U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines’ bill to provide much-needed authorization for Montana rural water infrastructure this week received a legislative hearing in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power.
The Clean Water for Rural Communities Act authorizes two Bureau of Reclamation rural water projects: the Dry-Redwater Regional Water Authority System and the Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System. The bill will collectively facilitate water treatment and delivery to nearly 36,000 residents in Dawson, Garfield, McCone, Prairie, Richland, Judith Basin, Wheatland, Golden Valley, Fergus, Yellowstone and Musselshell Counties in Montana and McKenzie County, in North Dakota.
Harlowton Mayor Jeff Sell testified before the Committee on the importance of passing Daines’ bill to ensure Montanans have access to a clean and dependable water source.
Click HERE to download Daines’ remarks.
Click HERE to watch Daines’ remarks.
“As the Mayor of Harlowton, right there in Wheatland County, you have experienced first-hand the negative effects that arise with the lack of access to clean water,” Daines stated. “Unfortunately, during your last visit here to testify on behalf of the Clean Water for Rural Communities Act, you were caught up in all that is wrong with Washington D.C. You came all the way out here to share your story and be the voice of rural Montana – of rural America – and you were not allowed to speak. I want to thank you for returning here to share your thoughts and insights on this critical issue that affects thousands of Montanans. Water is a basic need of life and there are rural communities in Montana that lack access to clean and reliable water. In fact, if you look at this picture behind me, you will see what the quality of water is like in one of the affected communities in Montana. This picture was taken in Roundup, Montana, a town of about 2,000 people. The existing public water supply systems in these communities are simply unacceptable.”
On May 10, 2017, Democrats refused to allow a hearing on Daines’ bill. Daines took to the floor to blast the move and underscore the urgency of this hearing by showing five water samples from Circle, Montana.
On March 21, 2017, Daines introduced the legislation. Daines introduced comparable legislation in the 114th Congress.