AMSA Applauds House Passage of Wastewater Security Bill

Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - May 7, 2003

For Immediate Release: May 7, 2003
Contact: Lee Garrigan, 202/833-4655, AMSA

AMSA Applauds House Passage of Wastewater Security Bill
The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for its nearly unanimous passage of the Wastewater Treatment Works Security Act of 2003, H.R. 866. H.R. 866 provides much-needed funding for municipal treatment works to perform vulnerability assessments and make critical security enhancements and will help ensure that the nation’s core wastewater infrastructure is more secure.

“AMSA’s nearly 300 public agency members, who serve the majority of the U.S. population, are public servants dedicated to making clean water progress and to ensuring that their plants, employees and customers are made as safe as possible. H.R. 866 will provide municipalities with the tools needed to meet this important objective. AMSA stands ready to help this legislation become a reality,” says Ken Kirk, AMSA’s Executive Director.

AMSA applauds Chairman Don Young (R-AK) and Ranking Member James Oberstar (D-MN) of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Chairman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) and Ranking Member Jerry F. Costello (D-IL) of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee for introducing and advancing this bipartisan bill through the House. With House action now complete, AMSA is confident that the Senate will pass similar legislation with equally broad bipartisan support.
Simply stated, the goals set forth in H.R. 866 — to provide funding assistance for the completion of vulnerability assessments and to implement security enhancements at publicly owned treatment works — will help ensure the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure. AMSA has worked closely with Congress and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop a suite of vulnerability self assessment software tools (VSAT™), and strongly supports H.R. 866’s provision to provide funds for upgrades and training on vulnerability assessment tools.

As municipalities face the triple expenses of upgrading aging wastewater infrastructure, dealing with the expensive wet weather requirements, and, in the wake of September 11, 2001, facing large security upgrade costs, H.R. 866 plays a pivotal role by providing vital financial help at a critical juncture for municipalities. AMSA looks forward to H.R. 866 being signed into law.

AMSA is a national trade association representing nearly 300 of the nation's public wastewater utilities who service the majority of Americans. These wastewater treatment officials are environmental practitioners dedicated to protecting and improving the nation's public health and its water, and collectively treat and reclaim over 18 billion gallons of wastewater every day.

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