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For Immediate Release: March 9, 2007
NACWA Applauds House Vote to Provide $14 Billion for Clean Water Infrastructure
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for moving swiftly and decisively to provide municipalities with more funding for clean water infrastructure. In a strong, bipartisan vote, the House approved the Water Quality Financing Act of 2007 (H.R. 720), which will reauthorize the clean water state revolving fund (CWSRF) at $14 billion over four years.
“The nation’s clean water agencies view this important vote as a solid first step toward averting a crisis of crumbling infrastructure that threatens the water quality gains of the last 35 years under the Clean Water Act,” Ken Kirk, NACWA executive director, said. “The House has acted wisely and boldly to recommit to the goals of the act. Now we need the Senate to follow suit, and we look forward to working with members of the Senate and their staff on a similar legislative effort. Then Congress should take the next major step and provide dedicated, long-term funding for clean water.”
Indeed, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN) estimate the funding gap for this critical infrastructure at $300-$500 billion over 20 years, and it is clear that existing mechanisms for addressing this enormous funding gap fall far short. EPA acknowledges that unless the funding gap is sufficiently addressed, the water quality gains of the last 35 years could evaporate by 2016. NACWA also applauds H.R. 720’s provision calling on GAO to prepare a study on revenue sources for a clean water trust fund by Jan. 1, 2008. Like highways and airports, clean water also deserves dedicated federal investment.
NACWA appreciates the hard work of Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, for his continuing strong support for clean water, and of Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, for her hard work on behalf of clean water legislation.
NACWA members are proud of their service as environmental stewards, devoting their lives to ensuring clean water for all Americans. NACWA also looks forward to working with House and Senate leaders on legislative efforts that guarantee a robust, long-term, and reliable source of funding to protect America’s clean water infrastructure and precious water resources for generations to come.
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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