February 26, 2002
April Boyd, Rep. Tauscher
Rob Ostrander, Rep. Kelly
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Members Introduce Bill to
Improve Quality, Security at Water Treatment Plants
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
members Congresswomen Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) and Sue Kelly (R-N.Y.), introduced a bill
in the House today that would dramatically increase funding to improve local water
The bill, The Clean Water Infrastructure and Security Improvement Act of
2002, would authorize $25 billion over the next five years to help cities and counties
across the country meet their clean water needs.
"Wastewater treatment facilities in cities and towns across the
country are in jeopardy because of the federal government's failure to its part and
dedicate all the resources necessary," said Rep. Tauscher. "Congress has to be
certain cities get the funding they need to keep these essential services up and running,
protect our environment, and even protect the facilities in the post-September 11
A similar bill has been introduced by Reps. Tauscher and Kelly before, but
the new bill reflects the changes since September 11 by increasing security around water
"This program is an excellent example of how all levels of government
can work together to protect the environment and help safeguard our nation's water supply
against terrorism," said Rep. Sue Kelly. "These documented needs exist in rural
and urban areas in every state. The expense to our environment and taxpayers will only
increase the longer we procrastinate in addressing these needs."
The Clean Water Infrastructure and Security Improvement Act would help
bridge the multi-billion dollar gap between current federal funding and local communities'
needs. EPA's own estimates show that local communities are facing a $330 billion gap in
water infrastructure investments over the next twenty years.
This problem is exacerbated by the expiration of the Clean Water State
Revolving Fund, an important financing tool that helps communities and counties meet their
growing needs for clean water by providing them funding to build and maintain a wastewater
infrastructure. Though the program has continued to receive an annual appropriation from
Congress since it expired in 1994, a staggering disparity remains between the federal
investment in wastewater infrastructure and communities' and counties' actual needs.
The legislation also establishes a grant program to help financially
distressed communities adequately treat their wastewater and meet federal clean water
The bill has broad bipartisan support in Congress and is supported by
labor and industry groups, including the AFL-CIO's International Union of Operating
Engineers, the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) and the California
Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA).
Executive Director of the Association for Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies,
Ken Kirk, said, "The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA)
wholeheartedly lends its full support to the water infrastructure funding bill introduced
by Representatives Sue Kelly and Ellen Tauscher. The bill's significant increases in
federal funding for core wastewater infrastructure repair and rehabilitation projects and
its strong grant component show that the federal government is set to join municipalities
as full partners to ensure our nation's water quality. I fully expect this bill to garner
the broad bipartisan support it deserves and move quickly through the House."
David R. Williams, of East Bay Municipal Utilities District and Chair of
the California Association of Sanitation Agencies' (CASA) Federal Legislative and Liaison
Committee said, "This bill, when enacted, will provide the necessary assurances that
the federal government remains a full partner in the nation's fight to reverse water
quality impairments and restore water quality infrastructure in California and around the
country." He added, "I applaud the tremendous leadership by Representatives
Tauscher and Kelly on this issue."
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