FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2018
NACWA Applauds Senate Passage of Bipartisan Farm Bill
‘Holistic Watershed Solutions’ Will Address US Water Quality Challenges
(Washington, DC) - The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) applauds the US Senate for passage, by a wide bipartisan majority, of a 2018 Farm Bill that will help address many of the nation’s water quality challenges through a holistic, watershed approach. Many of the key conservation and water quality elements in the Senate bill are also in the House Farm Bill passed earlier this month.
“NACWA applauds and thanks the Senate for its hard work, in a bipartisan fashion, to make important advances in conservation and water quality initiatives as part of the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Adam Krantz, NACWA’s Chief Executive Officer. “The conservation and partnership language in both the House and Senate Farm Bills makes critical strides in acknowledging and encouraging work between municipal clean water utilities and agricultural partners to address water quality challenges through holistic watershed approaches that can provide the most effective and cost-efficient water quality improvements. We look forward to continued work with Congress and other stakeholders to craft a final Farm Bill including these important policies and advancing it to the President’s desk for signature.”
NACWA has engaged with Congress in a bipartisan manner on the Farm Bill to advocate for an expanded role for the public clean water utility sector in conservation programs, as well as for increased recognition of the potential for utility partnerships with farmers and landowners to improve water quality through a holistic, watershed approach.
Most importantly for NACWA members and the entire clean water sector, both the House and Senate bills contain language recognizing and encouraging partnerships at the watershed level between clean water utilities and farmers to advance the goals of the Clean Water Act and provide benefits to farmers, landowners and the public. This language affirms Congress’s intention for clean water utilities to be partners on conservation and water quality initiatives, and supports progress being made to address Clean Water Act regulatory obligations through watershed partnerships and innovative approaches.
The House and Senate Farm Bills also contain important reforms to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), a program created in the 2014 Farm Bill that numerous utilities have considered or used. These include streamlining the application process, providing an expedited renewal process, expanding in-kind matches, increasing the focus on quantification of conservation outcomes, and robust funding. Both Farm Bills also include provisions to support precision conservation practices, tracking conservation metrics, and dedicated funding for source water protection.
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NACWA Applauds Senate Farm Bill Passage_FIN_062918
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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.