Washington, D.C. -- The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) applauds Congressional negotiators for reaching final agreement on an omnibus FY 2016 federal spending package, and encourages its swift passage by both the House and the Senate. The bill includes a number of important priorities for the municipal clean water community, including robust funding levels for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and a bi-partisan approach to address water quality concerns in the Great Lakes.
'This bill includes significant bi-partisan agreements that are important to the municipal clean water community and will help advance the nation's clean water,' said Adam Krantz, NACWA CEO. 'Most important for NACWA, this bill removes very controversial and dangerous language regarding sewer overflows in the Great Lakes that was included in the Senate version, and instead replaces it with a common sense approach to investing in Great Lakes water quality through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and through reasonable, responsible reporting of combined sewer overflow events. NACWA is grateful to members of Congress, including Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, for their willingness to find common ground on this issue. The bill also shows Congress's commitment to the CWSRF, which is a critical source of funding for municipal clean water utilities. Congress should move quickly to pass this bill and send it to the President's desk.'
As part of its approach to environmentally responsible and cost-effective solutions for water quality in the Great Lakes, the bill authorizes the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and appropriates $300 million for the program to pursue water quality improvements including through watershed and nonpoint source reduction efforts. The legislation also funds the CWSRF at nearly $1.4 billion for FY 2016, providing critical clean water funding for projects nationwide and reiterating Congress's strong sup