The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for moving swiftly and decisively to provide municipalities with more resources to address wet weather challenges. In an overwhelming and bipartisan 367-58 vote, the House approved the Water Quality Investment Act of 2007 (H.R. 569), to provide $1.7 billion for municipalities to fix their aging clean water infrastructure and reduce sewer overflows.
“The House has taken an important step toward helping municipal clean water agencies do their jobs of ensuring clean water for all Americans,” Ken Kirk, NACWA executive director, said. “This bill is an important milestone in the year when the Clean Water Act will celebrate its 35th anniversary. But the fight is not over; we urge the Senate to move quickly with authorizing legislation, and then we need Congress to take the next step and fully fund this bill.”
NACWA appreciates the hard work of Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), who sponsored the legislation and shepherded it through the House, and of Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, for his continuing strong support for clean water.
Indeed, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN) estimate the funding gap for this critical infrastructure at $300-$500 billion over 20 years, and it is clear that existing mechanisms for addressing this enormous funding gap fall far short.
“The Water Quality Investment Act will directly assist financially strapped municipalities afford necessary sewer system improvements without having to levy local tax rates,” Rep. Pascrell said. “Smart water infrastructure investment will mitigate public health risks and contribute to the preservation of natural resources.”
NACWA members are proud of their service as environmental stewards, devoting their lives to ensuring clean water for all Americans. NACWA also looks forward to working with House and Senate leaders on legislative efforts that guarantee a robust, long-term, and reliable source of funding to protect