PHILADELPHIA – Following the the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ (DHS) announcement that the Shapiro Administration re-opened the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) to help at-risk Pennsylvanians maintain drinking and wastewater services, the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) President & CEO Robert F. Powelson issued the following statement:
“NAWC applauds Governor Shapiro and DHS Secretary Val Arkoosh for their continued support to distribute federal LIHWAP funding across Pennsylvania. LIHWAP has been a national success story at helping low-income families maintain essential water and wastewater services.
While federal funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been in place for more than 40 years, funding for LIHWAP is temporary and the initial allocation was quickly exhausted with significant needs remaining. Unfortunately, the same customers who struggle to pay heating and cooling bills also struggle with their water and wastewater bills. While we are grateful for this supplemental allocation, it is still temporary, and we call on Congress to make LIHWAP a permanently funded program to ensure every household has continued access to safe, reliable and affordable water and wastewater services.”
In 2020 and 2021, Congress provided $1.138 billion to establish the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) to assist customers struggling to pay their bills as a result of COVID-19 and the economic turmoil that followed. As the first federal program to assist low-income families with their water and wastewater bills, LIHWAP has been a success, aiding almost 875,000 households, including over 45,000 in Pennsylvania. Customers of NAWC member companies have benefited from more than $16.3 million of that funding. The federal government recently re-allocated undistributed LIHWAP funds to states who requested more funds, including Pennsylvania.
National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) member companies safeguard public health and promote environmental stewardship as they serve the water and wastewater needs of nearly 73 million Americans every day. NAWC members have an exceptional record of compliance with federal and state health and environmental regulations. Ensuring this high standard of quality requires extraordinary amounts of capital investment. The 10 largest NAWC member companies collectively invest nearly $3.7 billion annually to ensure their water infrastructure is well maintained and that safe and clean drinking water is available whenever needed. Learn more about NAWC and the companies we proudly represent at www.nawc.org or follow on Twitter and LinkedIn.
The NAWC-PA Chapter represents all aspects of the private water service industry including ownership of regulated drinking water and wastewater utilities. NAWC-PA member companies provide safe and reliable drinking water and wastewater service to nearly 4.4 million Pennsylvanians.