Providing the infrastructure for safe drinking water is one of the basic functions of local government in Ohio. Ohio has over 4,000 public water systems, ranging from large systems in major cities that serve thousands of customers, to village systems, schools, and mobile home parks that serve less than a hundred customers.
This week, the Governor’s mid-biennium review budget bill related to water systems testing was introduced. HB512 (Ginther-R) focuses on four major reform areas. First, it proposes new and stricter guidelines for testing lead in drinking water.
Second, it proposes to shorten the timelines for the Ohio EPA and water system owners to notify affected residents of test results.
Third, it proposes to extend the maximum repayment schedule for loans taken out in service of renovating or constructing wastewater treatment systems to 30 years, making these loans more affordable; it also proposes to expand the types of projects eligible for financing through state programs.
Last, it proposes to provide more grant dollars to be used to replaced lead pipelines in schools.
GOPC applauds Governor Kasich and the Legislature for pro-actively offering more and stronger tools to Ohio’s local communities as they work to address lead in Ohio’s water systems. Mitigating outdated and dangerous pipes are one important component reforming and modernizing Ohio’s water and sewer infrastructure systems. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates on this bill and other legislation we are tracking.