What They Are Saying about T&I Republicans’ Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Act
Many organizations representing those responsible for building and maintaining the Nation’s wastewater infrastructure are offering their support for the Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2021 (H.R. 3218), a bill recently introduced by Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member David Rouzer (R-NC), along with Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) and U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-AK).
H.R. 3218, which largely reflects last year’s bipartisan Committee agreement on similar legislation, would reauthorize the Clean Water SRF program for the first time since 1994 at $14 billion over five years to help states and local communities address their wastewater infrastructure needs.
The following are statements of support for the Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2021:
“The Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Act would help counties address many weaknesses facing our sewer and wastewater systems. This proposal, which extends the Clean Water Act permits for municipalities from five to 10 years, would make substantial investments to repair and replace water infrastructure while addressing climate change and providing tools to help us build healthy, safe and resilient communities. We look forward to working with the administration and bipartisan members of Congress to achieve our shared goals – clean water and responsible environmental stewardship. We need a strong federal-state-local partnership to strengthen our infrastructure for the future. We urge the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the full House to pass this legislation.” – Matthew Chase, Executive Director, National Association of Counties (NACo)
“With the introduction of the Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Act, local leaders are pleased to see Congress continuing to put forth legislation to address our nation’s water infrastructure needs and achieve clean water goals. This bill would provide much needed support for communities to undertake capital projects, promote green infrastructure, address affordability, provide permit flexibility through the possibility of longer permit terms, manage stormwater, and strengthen local water systems to withstand the impacts of natural disasters, extreme weather events and sea level rise. NLC looks forward to working with House and Senate leaders to advance critical water infrastructure legislation.” – Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director, National League of Cities
“The U.S. Conference of Mayors commends House members for the introduction of the Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2021. Mayors, and the local governments they govern, need tools and resources to meet the nation’s water infrastructure needs. This bill recognizes those needs by providing additional resources to the State Revolving Loan Fund program, authorization for the funding for resiliency projects and protection of watersheds as well as stormwater and sewer reuse projects. The nation’s mayors appreciate the hard work of all these members and look forward to working with them as we move forward to rebuild our nation's infrastructure.” – Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director, U.S. Conference of Mayors
“Local governments are the backbone of our nation’s wastewater infrastructure. This legislation will ensure municipalities have the resources to expeditiously address our nation’s aging local sewer pipes and treatment plants, while also providing local governments increased flexibility to address severe weather events while adhering to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). These NPDES reforms recognize the immense length and scope municipalities face when addressing long-term disaster recovery and will save precious time and resources during the restoration process. NACE applauds Representatives David Rouzer, Sam Graves, and Don Young for giving county engineers and public works professionals the tools to ensure the safety, viability and modernization of this crucial cog of our national infrastructure network.” – Kevan Stone, CEO and Executive Director, National Association of County Engineers
“H.R. 3218 goes a long way towards addressing our wastewater infrastructure network, authorizing the Clean Water Act State Revolving Fund (SRF) for the first time since 1994. Rep. Rouzer’s bill largely borrows from the bi-partisan package that passed the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee last year and authorizes significant federal funding, roughly $14B over five years. Further, we welcome the efforts of Rep. Rouzer and his staff to address permit lengths for wastewater treatment facilities without creating administrative continuance restrictions for our industry, and the necessary permits aggregate producers need to operate safely and efficiently. We encourage the committee to maintain bi-partisan negotiations on this critical infrastructure need and HR 3218 is a great step in that direction.” – Michele Stanley, Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA)
“Speaking for those hundreds of thousands of industry professionals who plan, build, and maintain our nation’s underground water and wastewater systems, it is genuinely encouraging to see both parties in Washington take a serious interest in infrastructure funding. In the wastewater sector alone, over the next 10 years there are more than $270 billion dollars of documented investment needs. NUCA is committed to engaging on a bipartisan basis to support legislation that provides robust funding for water infrastructure and gives communities the much-needed federal resources they need to repair and expand aging, obsolete, and deficient water infrastructure systems. This bill is a welcome step in the right direction.” – Zack Perconti, Government Affairs for National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA)
“The Portland Cement Association (PCA), which represents cement manufacturers across the country, appreciates the introduction of the Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Act. This legislation will help communities address local wastewater needs by investing in wastewater infrastructure.” – Sean O’Neill Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Portland Cement Association
“CASA also urges Congress to leverage administrative solutions that can reduce the costs of compliance for local clean water agencies, while preserving our shared goal of protecting human health and improving our nation’s waters. It is for this reason that we strongly endorse Section 7 of H.R. 3218, which would provide state permitting agencies the discretionary authority to issue NPDES permit terms of up to ten years from the existing limited five-year term…. Providing states and USEPA the discretionary authority to extend NPDES permit terms to up to 10 years would maximize the use of scarce local, state and federal infrastructure resources without jeopardizing public health or the environment. CASA also notes that Section 7 preserves all existing Clean Water Act authorities and remedies, including enforcement and citizen suit provisions. Last, and perhaps no less important, Section 7 preserves the ability of regulators to reopen a permit if circumstances warrant such action to ensure public health.” – Adam D. Link, Executive Director, California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA)
Click here for more information about the Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2021.