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For Immediate Release: Jan. 30, 2008
Susan Bruninga, Director of Public Affairs, (202) 833-3280
NACWA Applauds House Democrats Call for GAO Study on Trust Fund Revenue Sources
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) applauds leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee for moving forward on a request for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study potential revenue sources for a clean water trust fund.
As the letter signed by Reps. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chair of the House T&I Committee; Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), chair of the subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment; and Earl Blumenauer, member of the House Ways and Means Committee, points out, a dedicated funding source for wastewater infrastructure is critical to ensuring communities can continue to fulfill their obligations to provide clean and safe water for generations to come.
“Local communities already pay more than 95 percent of the cost of meeting their obligations under the Clean Water Act. Without a strong federal recommitment to clean water in the form of a trust fund, communities risk losing the gains they have made over the past 35 years to clean up the nation’s waters,” Ken Kirk, NACWA executive director, said. “This study will help set the stage for moving toward a long-term, sustainable funding source to ensure communities can continue to provide the clean and safe water expected by their customers.”
Much has been said about the infrastructure crisis facing our nation, Kirk said. This includes the demands being placed on our water and wastewater sewer systems, much of which is underground and therefore out of view. Yet, clean water infrastructure is critical to protecting public health and the environment as well as for national security and commerce. Yet, aging and crumbling pipes, a growing population, increased regulatory requirements, and expectations of reliable service underscore why more federal funding — not less — is needed to help meet these challenges.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), a major source of infrastructure funding, has been cut to half its historic level of $1.35 billion, and EPA has suggested that funding for this valuable program should be phased out by 2011.
NACWA will continue to work with members of the T&I Committee and the Ways and Means Committee to ensure vital federal funding for our nation’s critical water and wastewater infrastructure continues long into the future.
NACWA represents the interests of the nation’s publicly owned wastewater treatment works, serving the majority of the sewered population in the United States, collectively treating and reclaiming over 18 billion gallons of wastewater every day.
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