Washington, D.C. -- Howard Neukrug, Water Commissioner of the Philadelphia Water Department and a member of NACWA’s Board of Directors, is testifying on behalf of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies for continued federal commitment to water and wastewater infrastructure. This commitment is necessary to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Neukrug testified at the oversight hearing convened by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment & Related Agencies. The goal of the hearing is to examine the budgetary needs for the Drinking Water and Wastewater State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs. Neukrug also spoke about the need to maintain the tax exemption for municipal bonds, which helps fund clean water projects, and the need to provide communities with flexibility as appropriate to meet competing CWA demands.
Increasingly, clean water utilities are becoming leaders of sustainability in their communities. Neukrug urged Congress to explore incentives and remove barriers to support these efforts, as outlined in the recently released report, The Water Resources Utility of the Future … A Blueprint for Action. Neukrug also discussed Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters program, a partnership with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that comprises a $2 billion investment in green infrastructure to better manage stormwater.
“Although we need the federal government to remain a reliable partner in improving our water infrastructure, the reality is that the CWSRF only accounts for 3% of the total investment need,” said Neukrug. “Knowing this, utilities have had to get smarter and look for ways to stretch each dollar.”
Additional witnesses include representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Government Accountability Office, the U.S. Water Alliance, the American Water Works Association, and the National Association of Water Companies. The hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, March 13 at 9:30 am in Room B308 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
NACWA represents the interests of more than 300 public agencies and organizations that have made the pursuit of scientifically based, technically sound and cost effective laws and regulations their objective. NACWA members serve the majority of the sewered population in the United States and collectively treat and reclaim more than 18 billion gallons of wastewater daily.