Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - April 26, 2004
For Immediate Release: April 26, 2004
Contact: Adam Krantz: 202/833-4651, AMSA
Budget Resolution Should Include Increased Clean Water Funding
According to recent reports, the House-Senate Conference Committee will finish deliberations on the Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Resolution this week. A broad-based coalition, that includes municipal, state, environmental, labor and industry groups, continues to urge conferees to authorize increased funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) to $3.2 billion and the Drinking Water SRF to $2 billion – a total increase of $3 billion over FY ’04 levels. The $5.2 billion allocation for the SRFs is essential as it would help local communities meet water quality standards, repair and replace aging plants and decaying pipelines, protect public health, and ensure continued progress in restoring the health of America’s waterbodies.
The broad support for this increased funding level is best exemplified by an April 22 Earth Day edition Roll Call ad (http://www.amsa-cleanwater.org/advocacy/co/2004earthdayad.pdf) which was signed by nearly 30 national organizations. The ad stated that “[t]he nation’s funding gap for clean and safe water infrastructure will exceed half a trillion dollars by 2019. The Senate’s proposal will help meet this challenge and help protect the environment and public health while creating nearly 250,000 jobs – more than triple the House level.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has repeatedly warned that without a massive new investment, the nation’s water quality will regress to pre-1971 Clean Water Act levels. EPA, the Congressional Budget Office, the General Accounting Office and the Water Infrastructure Network (www.win-water.org) have all projected a funding gap of as much as half a trillion dollars to repair and replace aging water infrastructure over the next 20 years. Increased funding for the SRFs would be a solid first-step toward what the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies believes is necessary to overcoming the funding shortfall – a dedicated funding source for clean water.
According to a February 2004 nationwide survey (http://www.amsa-cleanwater.org/advocacy/releases/2004-02-09survey.pdf) conducted by prominent pollster and communications expert, Frank Luntz, over 90% of Americans support dedicated, national funding for clean water. This resounding message from the American public is reason enough for the federal government to recommit in this Budget Resolution to making America’s rivers, lakes, streams, bays and estuaries a top priority.
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.
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