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WIN News Release

For Immediate Release:
March 7, 2002
Contact: Adam Krantz


WIN Applauds Senate for Water Investment Act, Offers Modifications

The Water Infrastructure Network (WIN) applauds the leadership of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee in introducing the Water Investment Act of 2002 (S. 1961). WIN thanks Senators Bob Graham, Michael Crapo, James Jeffords, and Robert Smith for taking an important step to, as the bill title states, "improve financial and environmental sustainability of the water programs of the United States." WIN, however, recommends that S. 1961 be modified to direct the bill's funds to support the core needs of our communities drinking water and wastewater infrastructure repair and replacement.

Howard Neukrug, Chair of the Water Utility Council for the American Water Works Association, a WIN member, calls S. 1961 "an important first step toward recognizing the need for increased water and wastewater infrastructure funding." Ken Kirk, Executive Director of the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies, also a WIN member, says "S. 1961 shows an increasing national awareness concerning water infrastructure but this legislation should focus more specifically on the urgent, core drinking water and wastewater infrastructure needs this country faces."

WIN believes the following recommended modifications, among others, would serve to improve S. 1961:

focus on core infrastructure needs that will protect the nation's environmental and public health, namely repair and replacement of aging pipes and facilities;

fully fund the WIN-documented water infrastructure funding needs at an authorized level of $57 billion over five years through a combination of grant and loan funding options and ensure federal participation over the long-term;

streamline state funding procedures;

specifically address the need for drinking water and wastewater security funding; and

invest in clean and safe water technology and management innovation to reduce infrastructure costs, prolong the life of America's water and wastewater assets, and improve the productivity of utility enterprises.

WIN looks forward to continuing its productive partnership with the Environment and Public Works Committee and thanks them for taking this first important step towards ensuring and building upon the environmental and public health gains made over the past 30 years since enactment of the Clean Water Act.

WIN is a broad-based coalition of local elected officials, drinking water and wastewater service providers, state environmental and health program administrators, labor, engineers and environmentalists dedicated to preserving and protecting the health, environmental and economic gains that America's drinking water and wastewater infrastructure provides.

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