Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - November 12, 2003
For Immediate Release: November 12, 2003
Contact: Adam Krantz, 202/833-4651, AMSA
Senate Environment Committee Approves $958 Million for Stormwater Projects
Earlier today, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee successfully marked up the Safe, Affordable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003, S. 1072 (SAFETEA). Included in S. 1072 was a critical Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA)-supported amendment offered by Senators John Warner (R-VA) and Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), which would ensure $958 million is targeted for highway stormwater mitigation projects over the next six years.
The Warner-Chafee amendment enjoys solid bipartisan support and provides that a modest percentage of S. 1072’s overall funding (approximately 2%) is spent on projects that protect water quality. Such projects include stormwater retrofits, the recharge of groundwater, natural filters, stream restoration, minimization of stream bank erosion, innovative technologies, and others. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, polluted stormwater from impervious surfaces such as roads is a leading cause of impairment for nearly 40% of U.S. waterways not meeting water quality standards. Roadways produce some of the highest concentrations of pollutants such as phosphorus, suspended solids, bacteria, and heavy metals.
AMSA’s Executive Director, Ken Kirk, voiced his approval of the bill saying, “This is a step toward ensuring that legislation is enacted that is environmentally sound and will help protect and improve water quality nationwide. This key amendment will provide funding for the nation’s clean water infrastructure, which must become a priority issue for Congress and the public in the coming years.”
AMSA, along with other stakeholder organizations, successfully advocated on behalf of the amendment, bringing EPW Committee Democrats and several Republican Senators together on this important water quality issue. As part of this effort, AMSA also sent letters this week to key Senators urging their support of the amendment. To view the letter, visit AMSA’s website at http://www.amsa-cleanwater.org/advocacy/releases/2003-11-11-03cornyn.pdf.
AMSA will continue to work with Congress to ensure that the Warner-Chafee amendment is ultimately included in the transportation bill that eventually passes Congress and is signed by the President.
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