December 7, 2021/Media, Press

ICYMI: Mayor Saffo, Representative Butler, NCDP Chair & Cape Fear River Watch Celebrate Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, $10 Billion Funding to Clean Up PFAS Toxins

This morning, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, Representative Deb Butler (HD-18), North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) Chair Bobbie Richardson, and Kemp Burdette from Cape Fear River Watch held a press conference to discuss the $10 billion allocated nationwide in President Biden and Democrats’ Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help clean up the dangerous Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) toxins known as “forever chemicals.” President Biden and Democrats successfully passed legislation that would aid the 300,000 residents of Cape Fear communities who have been exposed for more than 40 years to PFAS-contaminated drinking water.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and money we are already seeing flowing to North Carolina is a testament to what can get done when Democrats and Republicans come together to put people first. We need more of that, not less.The field of U.S. Senate candidates have proven that if they had their way, North Carolina would not see a dime of this funding. These issues are simply too urgent to not act,” said NCDP Chair Bobbie Richardson

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s funding of $10 billion in grants nationwide, which is the single largest investment in water that the federal government has ever made, to address emerging contaminants like PFAS through the State Revolving Funds and small and disadvantaged community programs is critically important for cities like Wilmington. While there’s more work to be done, this historic legislation is taking a significant step towards cleaning up our drinking water,” said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo. 

“For me, The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill perfectly illustrates the values of the Democratic Party. Here in North Carolina, as a member of the democratic minority, I have put forward legislation time and again seeking to assist in this clean-up, but the Republican leadership would not even allow my bills a hearing. Sadly, today’s political climate in Raleigh is as toxic as PFAS. Thankfully for us, the Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats know something that many of their Republican counterparts do not, and that is we have been entrusted as stewards of our live-giving natural resources. Directing resources that will be spent for the people and their well-being, instead of shareholders profit and corporate bigwigs,” said Representative Deb Butler. 

“I remember the fear that gripped our community in 2017, after the announcement that our drinking water treatment plants – some of the most advanced in the country – couldn’t remove PFAS chemicals. I believe that PFAS pollution is THE environmental issue of our time. An issue this big and this urgent requires historic action. Historic action requires historic funding. And 10 billion dollars in funding – the largest investment in water protection in this country ever – shows that the government is serious about tackling the issue of our time. Cape Fear River Watch is grateful to the Biden Administration for recognizing the importance of PFAS cleanup. This funding will help cleanup wastewater discharges and protect drinking water. It will help make our river, the mighty Cape Fear, safer to drink, safer to swim in, and safer to fish from. And let’s be honest, clean water is something every single American should support,” said Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette, Cape Fear River Watch.