ARCHIVE SITE - Last updated Jan. 19, 2017. Please visit www.NACWA.org for the latest NACWA information.
For Immediate Release: Feb. 27, 2009
Contact: Susan Bruninga, (202) 833-3280
NACWA Director of Public Affairs
NACWA Applauds Obama Budget’s Proposed Increases for Clean Water
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) applauded President Obama for the increases to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) proposed for fiscal year 2010. The budget proposal would provide $3.9 billion for both SRFs. This is a significant increase from the amounts in the FY 2009 budget, which included $1.5 billion for the CWSRF and the DWSRF.
“The increased funding levels show this administration is serious about addressing the water and wastewater infrastructure crisis confronting our communities,” Ken Kirk, NACWA’s executive director, said. “For too long and despite our best efforts, we have watched funding for the popular SRF program dwindle to levels that threaten our ability to provide strong public health and environmental protections at a cost that our struggling communities can afford. We must work with members of Congress to ensure strong support for these funding levels.”
While NACWA is pleased that the Obama administration appears interested in reinvigorating the federal government’s role in working with states and localities to achieve vital clean water goals, communities need a long-term commitment to federal funding that is only available through a sustainable funding source in the form of a clean water trust fund. A long-term, sustainable investment in clean water infrastructure is necessary for public health and environmental protections, as well as the economic vitality, and should not be affected by changes in political leadership.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN) estimate a $300-$500 billion funding gap over 20 years between what is needed to upgrade and repair the nation’s wastewater infrastructure and how much is being spent. Population increases, aging pipes and equipment, new water quality challenges including climate change, nutrient controls, and other requirements are placing more demands on publicly owned wastewater treatment agencies. Communities currently bear 95 percent of the cost of clean water, even as these demands increase. The federal share has dropped from 78 percent in the 1970s to less than 5 percent today. To help fill the gap, ratepayers, already constrained by the sagging economy, are facing higher water and sewer bills.
NACWA will work with members of the House and Senate to ensure strong support for the increased SRF funding levels. In addition, NACWA looks forward to working with Congress and key stakeholders to build support for a long-term, sustainable source of funding in the form of a trust fund, similar to those that exist for highways and airports. A trust fund will ensure clean water agencies can continue to make critical environmental and public health progress.
NACWA represents the interests of more than 300 public agencies and organizations that have made the pursuit of scientifically based, technically sound and cost effective laws and regulations their objective. NACWA members serve the majority of the sewered population in the United States and collectively treat and reclaim more than 18 billion gallons of wastewater daily.
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