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Bill would help clean water supply

OW Staff Writer | 4/28/2017, midnight
Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25) introduced legislation recently that would assist efforts to provide clean water to areas like the Santa ...

Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25) introduced legislation recently that would assist efforts to provide clean water to areas like the Santa Clarita Valley that are reportedly effected by perchlorate contamination. Perchlorate is a manmade contaminant found in groundwater. It is primarily used for rocket fuel, missiles, fireworks and other explosives.

H.R. 2116, the Perchlorate Reclamation and Water Replenishment Act, would give the Secretary of the Interior, in conjunction with the Bureau of Reclamation, the authority to help local water agencies develop projects related to the capture, treatment, and distribution of recycled water in areas impacted by perchlorate contamination. Santa Clarita is said to be an area that would benefit from such funding, as numerous drinking water wells in the region sit unused because they are contaminated by the carcinogenic chemicals which were improperly disposed of after the Cold War.

Authorized projects resulting from passage of the legislation would create supplementary clean water access to make up for wells that had to be capped.

“We appreciate the leadership of Rep. Knight on this issue,” said Matt Stone, general manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency. “Communities like ours that have been impacted by perchlorate contamination will now have resources to help replenish lost water supply. We look forward to working with [Rep. Knight] as this legislation moves through the process.”

H.R. 2116 is similar to a bill Knight introduced last year. The Castaic Drinking Water Act would authorize the Bureau of Reclamation to participate in perchlorate cleanup projects. The new measure is designed to include communities across the country facing similar problems with perchlorate contamination, and would prioritize water districts that have already taken steps to address their perchlorate contamination issues.

“While California’s water outlook has improved this year, we still must take steps to ensure we have a clean and abundant water supply in the Santa Clarita Valley,” Knight said. “This legislation is a local priority that would bring relief to communities.”