As Election Nears, Nation Demands Action on Environment, Water Quality

Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - February 9, 2004

For Immediate Release: February 9, 2004
Contact: Adam Krantz: 202/833-4651, AMSA

As Election Nears, Nation Demands Action on Environment, Water Quality
According to a February 2004 nationwide survey ( conducted by prominent pollster and communications expert, Frank Luntz, on behalf of the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies, members of Congress and contenders for the presidency must focus now on the environmental well-being of the nation’s rivers, lakes, streams and bays.

Everyone agrees that the U.S. deserves to have the best water quality in the world. Yet the Chesapeake Bay, the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico and thousands of waterways and watersheds across the country remain impaired. Hundreds of billions of dollars are invested nationally on highways and airports but the federal government funds less than 5% of the cost to maintain clean water. Without a federal recommitment to clean water we will lose the 30 years of water quality progress enjoyed under the Clean Water Act. Are highways and airways more important than the nation’s waterways? Absolutely not, say the vast majority of Americans.

The Luntz survey indicates overwhelming public support for national, long-term, dedicated funding for clean water. Regardless of political views, gender, race or religion, the message is the same – there is tremendous support for a federal recommitment to water infrastructure funding. Findings from the survey show that:

The Congressional Budget Office, the Government Accounting Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency all agree there is a national funding gap estimated to be as high as $1 trillion for water infrastructure. The economic and public health implications to the nation and virtually all local communities are staggering and will only escalate if this issue continues to be ignored – an outcome voters will not accept. The public has spoken and their message is loud and clear, clean water is not just a local issue but is national in scope and requires dedicated national funding to help states and localities pay for the necessary sewerage and wastewater treatment systems that will guarantee clean water for future generations of Americans.

AMSA is a national trade association representing hundreds of the nation's publicly owned wastewater treatment utilities. AMSA members serve the majority of the sewered population in the United States and collectively treat and reclaim over 18 billion gallons of wastewater every day. AMSA members are environmental practitioners dedicated to protecting and improving the nation's waters and public health.

1816 Jefferson Place, Washington, DC 20036-2505 • 202.833.AMSA • 202.833.4657 FAX