Hundreds of groups demand end to water shut-offs
More than 700 groups are demanding that Congress approve legislation to protect low-income families and communities of color from utility shut-offs.
The third coronavirus response package, which was signed into law March 27, included paycheck and eviction protection measures, but the groups say those steps are not enough (E&E Daily, March 27).
“[T]he CARES Act unfortunately failed to include any moratorium on shut-offs of the basic utility services that families need to survive and protect themselves during this health pandemic,” said a letter this morning from environmental, faith, labor, health, consumer and legal advocacy groups.
In addition to an end to utility shut-offs nationally, the groups demanded provisions to help restart disconnected service and to wave fees and penalties.
“Now more than ever it is clear that access to core services like water, electricity and broadband is a human right,” said Johanna Bozuwa, a climate and energy co-manager at the Democracy Collaborative.
“Before the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said, “the United States was confronted with a utility shut-off crisis, particularly in communities of color.”