(September 16, 2020) – NACWA joined with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) this week to send a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler flagging the significant financial challenges facing many clean water utilities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and asking the Agency to exercise flexibility in working with utilities whose capital budgets have been impacted by significant economic disruption.
The letter notes that many water sector utilities, especially those that are part of a city or municipal government, have capital investment projects that were planned well before the pandemic hit and that now may need to be delayed or rescheduled due to economic fallout from COVID-19 and future revenue uncertainty. While utilities are not asking for a blanket delay in implementing these projects, especially for ones that are mandated to meet federal requirements, the letter does ask that EPA and states work on a case-by-case basis with individual utilities to provide flexibility around non-critical capital projects that may need a schedule adjustment.
EPA has already reached out to NACWA about this issue, and NACWA and AMWA look forward to continued work with EPA to address these capital investment concerns in an appropriate manner. Members with questions can contact Nathan Gardner-Andrews.