NACWA Weighs in with EPA on Infrastructure Bill Implementation
NACWA sent a letter to the EPA Office of Water on Feb. 16 further outlining clean water agency priorities related to implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). This letter builds on NACWA’s initial recommendations to EPA and in particular fleshes out recommendations regarding how EPA should advance the White House goals of targeting funds to disadvantaged communities, implement the loan forgiveness and grant portions of IIJA, and ensure that the funds are available to all types of communities—regardless of technical or financial capacity or size.
In particular, the letter provides suggested factors for EPA to consider in how the term “disadvantaged community” is interpreted in determining how the 49% of funds set aside in the IIJA for grants or additional subsidization are used. Many states have traditionally had overly restrictive requirements on what types of communities will qualify as disadvantaged, and NACWA’s letter encourage a more holistic approach to addressing this issue. Given the historic nature of the funds available under the IIJA, it is important that EPA and the states consider new and innovative ways to distribute them.
NACWA has had an ongoing dialogue with the Agency since November as EPA works to develop IIJA implementation guidance. We appreciate the Agency’s commitment to engaging stakeholders during this process and look forward to continued discussion moving forward. NACWA’s Board of Director’s Affordability Task Force has been particularly engaged in this process. Members with questions can contact Kristina Surfus, NACWA’s Managing Director of Government Affairs.