AMSA Applauds “H2O” Funding Bill, Urges Long-Term Funding

Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - January 8, 2003

For Immediate Release: January 8, 2003
Contact: Adam Krantz, 202/833-4651, AMSA

AMSA Applauds “H2O” Funding Bill, Urges Long-Term Funding
AMSA applauds Representatives Sue Kelly (R-NY) and Ellen O. Tauscher (D-CA) for having introduced the bipartisan Clean Water Infrastructure Financing Act of 2003 (H.R. 20, or as it is already being called by some, “H2O”), which would provide $25 billion over five years for the Clean Water Act state revolving fund and a significant grant component to aid “distressed communities”. AMSA believes the H2O bill is an important demonstration that the 108th Congress remains committed to clean water infrastructure funding and constitutes a first step in 2003 toward an ultimate solution to the water infrastructure funding shortfall which resides in a long-term, sustainable funding source.

Ken Kirk, Executive Director of AMSA, states, “I thank Representatives Kelly and Tauscher for their commitment to clean water in America and for taking an important step with H2O. The United States faces a looming crisis to the nation’s wastewater infrastructure, as pipes and systems age and are in desperate need of upgrade and repair. Municipalities now shoulder 90% of these infrastructure costs but they cannot continue to foot this massive infrastructure bill alone, especially as local budgets continue to shrink and municipalities face daunting security costs. Without a serious, long-term commitment from the federal government, the wastewater infrastructure funding need over the next twenty years will only rise dramatically and we will have missed our opportunity to ensure the nation’s clean water future”.

AMSA has also been a vocal member of the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN) — a broad coalition of interests seeking to secure the environmental and economic gains the nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure provided over the past 30 years since the inception of the Clean Water Act. In WIN’s report, Clean and Safe Water for the 21st Century, WIN found a $12 billion annual shortfall for wastewater infrastructure over the next twenty years. These startling estimates have been bolstered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Government Accounting Office, and the Congressional Budget Office, demonstrating the enormity of the water infrastructure funding need. It is a rare event when a plethora of government agencies agree on such a startling financial and environmental outlook.

To overcome the funding shortfall, AMSA calls on Congress and the President to act swiftly on new legislation to finance a long-term, sustainable, and reliable source of funding for clean water, focusing on critical “core” wastewater infrastructure needs. AMSA hopes the “H2O” bill will spur bipartisan support in Congress for such a solution and will continue to work with Representatives Kelly and Tauscher, and the 108th Congress, toward this end.

AMSA is a national trade association representing more than 280 publicly owned treatment works across the country. As environmental practitioners, AMSA’s members treat more than 18 billion gallons of wastewater each day and service the majority of the U.S. population.

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