newsmceachin pushing youngkin to focus federal clean water funds on disadvantaged communities

McEachin pushing Youngkin to focus federal clean water funds on disadvantaged communities

Chris Graham
tap water
(© Brian Jackson –

Fourth District Congressman Donald McEachin is urging Gov. Glenn Youngkin to prioritize federal funds available to provide for clean drinking water to go to disadvantaged Virginia communities.

“You have frequently expressed your intent for the government to work for all Virginians across our diverse Commonwealth,” McEachin, a Democrat, wrote in a letter to Youngkin, a Republican, dated Aug. 24. “This involves prioritizing needs of communities that have been historically underserved. I encourage you to leverage competencies of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice to center environmental justice considerations in the implementation of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding.”

The Fourth District includes the City of Petersburg, which is the focus of an effort launched by Youngkin this week, the Partnership for Petersburg, which includes a push to fast-track water and wastewater infrastructure improvements at the Poor Creek Pump Station.

The 2022-2024 state budget included an amendment providing $29.6 million from American Rescue Plan funds and another $16.7 million in state funds for the project.

McEachin worked in Congress to ensure notable environmental justice priorities were included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that was signed into law by President Biden last year. McEachin has advocated for the protection of historically marginalized communities and the equitable implementation of federal programs and initiatives to ensure these communities are not left behind, and he continues those efforts as more programs and funding opportunities are made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“Historic investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law offer our Commonwealth an unprecedented opportunity to upgrade our infrastructure, improve our water quality, and address these disparities. The majority of water infrastructure funding is dedicated to the EPA’s Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, which provide low-cost financing for local water projects across the country,” McEachin said. “Notably, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law specified that 49 percent of Drinking Water General Supplemental Funding and Lead Service Line Replacement Funding should go to disadvantaged communities.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris has won 17 Virginia Press Association awards for his work as an investigative reporter, feature writer and columnist. Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, Want to reach Chris? Try [email protected].