Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - September 30, 2002
For Immediate Release: September 30, 2002
Contact: Adam Krantz, 202/833-4651, AMSA
Demonstrating Need for Federal Legislation,
EPA Report Shows Huge Wastewater Infrastructure Funding Gap
Today’s release of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) report, The Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Gap Analysis, documents a startling wastewater infrastructure funding gap of as much as $ 442 billion over the next twenty years. The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) believes this report’s findings bolster the urgent need for legislation that provides a long-term sustainable solution to the nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure funding need. As EPA’s report states, “with the aging of the nation’s infrastructure, the clean water and drinking water industries face a significant challenge to sustain and advance their achievements in protecting public health and the environment.” The report is available at http://www.epa.gov/owm/gapreport.pdf.
Ken Kirk, Executive Director of AMSA, states, “Simply put, the EPA report demonstrates that we face 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, as EPA’s Gap Analysis demonstrates, they cannot continue to foot this massive infrastructure bill alone, especially as local budgets continue to shrink and municipalities face soaring 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 stem a looming environmental and public health crisis.” In remarks made today at WEFTEC 2002 in Chicago, Ill., EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman announced the release of the report and discussed the need to continue the dialogue between water and wastewater organizations and EPA officials, with a forum to ensue in spring 2003.
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, a number that has been bolstered by EPA’s report which finds an $8-14 billion annual wastewater infrastructure funding need.
EPA, the Government Accounting Office, and the Congressional Budget Office have all weighed in with massive numbers, demonstrating the enormous wastewater infrastructure funding need. It is a rare event when a plethora of government agencies agree on such an enormous financial need. As such, AMSA calls on Congress and the President to act swiftly and sign and budget for new legislation to finance a long-term, sustainable, and reliable source of funding for clean water, focusing on critical “core” wastewater infrastructure needs.
AMSA believes the EPA’s report should only spur strong bipartisan support and leadership in Congress on the issue of meaningful water and wastewater infrastructure funding legislation. AMSA will continue to work with Congress and EPA to develop a meaningful, long-term solution to the nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure shortfall.
AMSA is a national trade association representing over 270 of the nation's public wastewater utilities who are, despite a sharp decline in federal funding, dealing with the expensive challenges of an ailing infrastructure comprised of old, worn pipes and treatment facilities in desperate need of upgrades. 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