News Briefs: Anchorage Mayor Orders Brief Fluoride Shutoff

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has initiated the first application period for Extraordinary Maintenance projects addressing water infrastructure in the West

A number of recent news reports claim the mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, recently ordered the city’s fluoridation to be temporarily shut off, but there wasn’t much in the way of an explanation for doing so.

Mayor Dave Bronson’s office says the manager of its water voiced safety concerns about employees working with fluoride at its treatment facility, but the union that represents the utility workers says it never heard concerns.

The mayor initially denied ordering the fluoride shutoff, according to KTOO News, but then claimed that during a tour of the plant he’d heard workers complain about fluoride burning their throats and eyes.

The fluoride was turned back on within five hours because it was determined to be required by city code. Read details about the story via KTOO News.

Applications Open for Infrastructure Funding Via Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The Bureau of Reclamation has initiated the first application period for Extraordinary Maintenance projects that will address aging water and power infrastructure across the West. Newly enacted funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be applied to the program following the new application period requirements set out in the separate Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

“This month, Reclamation is taking direct action to keep our water and power infrastructure operating reliably into the 21st century,” says Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “Through a hybrid approach that combines 2021 BIL funding with the updated process set up in 2020, we are bringing the best of both worlds to bear on this problem. We will be in lock step with local partners; and because of that, we’re very confident that it will be a success.”

With the recent passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, there is $3.2 billion over five years in the Aging Infrastructure Account to be used for extraordinary maintenance needs. Reclamation’s infrastructure is either reserved, which means operated by Reclamation, or transferred, where it is operated by local beneficiary parties through a contract with Reclamation. Both reserved and transferred works are eligible for BIL funding through the application process.

Clean Water Action Says Congress and White House Must Get Past BBB Roadblocks

 Clean Water Action recently responded to the latest news on the negotiations over the Build Back Better Act, saying it is dismayed by the newest roadblocks to its passage.

“This bill is essential to fighting climate change by accelerating the transition to clean energy, investing in our water and other infrastructure, strengthening our economy, creating good jobs and supporting American families,” reads a statement from Clean Water Action. “We look forward to working with Congress and the White House to get negotiations back on track and pass this transformational legislation as soon as possible. Failure is not an option – our planet and communities demand action.”



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