West Virginia PSC urges congressional support for water assistance

CHARLESTON – The Public Service Commission of West Virginia urged the state’s congressional members on Wednesday to support a permanent federally funded Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP).

This critically important program provides temporary assistance only to families in need to cover a portion of their water and wastewater bills. Since its creation, LIHWAP has assisted more than 17,229 low-income families in West Virginia.

“As regulators with oversight of the water industry in West Virginia, we believe it is imperative that Congress take action to provide continued funding for a permanent low-income water assistance program,” Chairman Charlotte R. Lane wrote the state’s two U.S. senators and House of Representatives’ members.

Sponsored by Reps. Eric Sorensen, D-Ill.; Lori Chavez-DeRemer, R-Ore; Kim Schrier, D-Wash; and Jennifer Gonzalez-Capon, representing Puerto Rico, their bill (H.R. 8032) is a companion to Senate legislation introduced by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif, earlier this year. Both would permanently authorize the program, which was established by Congress four years ago to promote public health by easing the burden on families struggling to afford their monthly water bills.

“The Public Service Commission of West Virginia encourages you to support legislation to assure continued critical federal water assistance to the most vulnerable to help them pay for water service,” Lane wrote.

“If the LIHWAP program lapses, there is no question that many will suffer,” Lane warned.

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