Bipartisan Legislation Codifying Integrated Planning Advances in Senate
Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Ben Cardin (D-MD), along with Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Rob Portman (R-OH), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), have introduced the Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act (S. 692). The bipartisan legislation would provide local communities with increased flexibility when complying with Clean Water Act (CWA) requirements, giving communities more autonomy as they prioritize and plan for much-needed wastewater and stormwater investments. Specifically, the legislation would codify the Integrated Planning Framework that EPA unveiled in 2012, would require EPA to revise the 1997 Financial Capability Guidance for negotiating CSO [combined sewer overflow] Consent Decrees, and would ensure EPA integrates the use of green infrastructure for managing stormwater throughout its CWA compliance programs. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is hearing testimony in support of the legislation on Tuesday, March 28 from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, represented by Lancaster, PA Mayor Richard Gray. NACWA submitted a letter of support for the hearing record and is working with members in the House to advance companion legislation.