NACWA has been busy on Capitol Hill in recent days, meeting with key congressional offices to discuss clean water funding issues and potential work on a large-scale infrastructure package. Meanwhile, the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee held a hearing March 8 on the role of federal agencies in delivering water infrastructure projects, including projects funded by the Army Corps of Engineers as well as by the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) Programs.
Witnesses at the hearing included representatives from local government, business and the states with experience managing federal water infrastructure investment programs. Highlights of the testimony included statements by the Hon. Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady, NY, who discussed the city’s plan for major upgrades to its sewer system and some of the regulatory hurdles to ensuring limited ratepayer funds are invested wisely. The Mayor also discussed the need to address affordability challenges that communities face under the Clean Water Act and urged support for Congress to codify EPA’s Integrated Planning initiative.
The subcommittee also took testimony from John Linc Stine, Commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, who testified on behalf of the Environmental Council of the States. Stine urged greater federal funding for water and wastewater infrastructure programs and included a list of $18 billion in ready-to-go projects currently on States’ SRF Intended Use Plans along with his testimony.
The House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee plays a key role in crafting water infrastructure investment legislation. The hearing is one of many the subcommittee has been holding in advance of crafting a potential infrastructure package. NACWA is working to influence any and all infrastructure-related packages to ensure that water is a priority and will continue to report on developments as they occur.