Bipartisan Clean Water Funding Bill Advances Through Congressional Committee

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2019

Clean Water Funding Investment Bill Passes Committee

Bill Promotes Water Quality, Boosts Economy, and Relieves Ratepayer Burden

(Washington, DC) - The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) applauds the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee for its bipartisan passage of H.R. 1497, the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2019.  The legislation includes several key NACWA advocacy priorities, including reauthorizing and increasing funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), providing for POTW NPDES permit terms of up to 10 years, requiring EPA to review the water sector’s affordability recommendations, and focusing new attention to improving the nation’s water workforce.

H.R. 1497 would authorize the largest increase ever for the CWSRF and help ensure communities across the country are better equipped to invest in improving aging infrastructure, addressing emerging water quality challenges, and further delivering safe, reliable and affordable clean water services to all ratepayers.

 “NACWA appreciates this strong bipartisan effort and commitment by members of the committee to ensure communities have the necessary resources to better meet their increasing clean water infrastructure challenges head on”, says Adam Krantz, CEO of NACWA. “The essential clean water services communities provide are critical to protecting and improving public health and the environment, creating jobs,  and providing for a strong economy.”

The bill also authorizes and reauthorizes several other core clean water programs that provide financing and technical assistance to local communities, including federal grants to municipalities for stormwater and sewer overflow controls.  With the federal government’s share of total national investment in water and wastewater presently below 5 percent, these programs provide further important financial tools to help communities improve their aging infrastructure and meet their obligations under the federal Clean Water Act.

Also included are targeted regulatory reforms to modernize public utility National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting by allowing states the flexibility to issue public clean water utilities NPDES permits of up to 10 years in certain circumstances. This can help provide public utilities greater permit certainty, reduce administrative backlogs that do not advance clean water, and enable utilities to better align permit terms with modern construction timelines and innovative approaches to watershed management.

NACWA thanks Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO), and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-AR), for their leadership on this legislation. NACWA also thanks and appreciates all of the members of the committee for their support

NACWA has issued a letter in support of the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2019 and looks forward to working with the committee and Congress to further advance this critical legislation.

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About NACWA

For nearly 50 years, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has been the nation’s recognized leader in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy on the full spectrum of clean water issues. NACWA represents public wastewater and stormwater agencies of all sizes nationwide. Our unique and growing network strengthens the advocacy voice for all member utilities, and ensures they have the tools necessary to provide affordable and sustainable clean water for all.  Our vision is to represent every utility as a NACWA member, helping to build a strong and sustainable clean water future. For more information, visit us at www.nacwa.org.