Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - May 24, 2001

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2001
Contact: Lee Garrigan

Boehlert’s Support Helps Make Water Infrastructure Funding a National Priority Issue

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA), an organization that represents the interests of the country's public wastewater treatment facilities, has presented Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) with its Public Service Award in recognition of his efforts in raising public and congressional awareness of the need for a national plan of action to upgrade the nation's wastewater and drinking water treatment infrastructure.

Boehlert, a founder and co-chairman of the bipartisan House Water Infrastructure Caucus, has called for comprehensive legislation to provide local communities, towns, and cities federal support to upgrade wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities in order to achieve cleaner, safer water quality for all Americans. Repair and replacement of wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities are expensive and pose severe financial hardships for municipalities. Often, the local tax base cannot support the necessary upgrades and many customers cannot afford rate hikes that would accompany such improvements.

AMSA recognized Boehlert as a driving force behind the formation of the bipartisan Water Infrastructure Caucus during the last Congress. Boehlert and the caucus members are educating fellow Members of Congress on the current challenge and critical needs facing the nation's water infrastructure. Owed in large part to Boehlert’s leadership, the Infrastructure Caucus now has nearly 100 congressional members and is growing rapidly.

AMSA is a founding member of the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN) - a broad-based coalition that includes local elected officials, drinking water and wastewater service providers, environmental groups and environmental engineers dedicated to preserving America’s environmental health . WIN released a report this year that projects an alarming $23 billion annual shortfall in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure funding for the next twenty years. This presents an enormous national challenge that may prevent drinking water and wastewater systems from replacing and rehabilitating aging facilities to meet current and future federal regulations. As Gurnie Gunter, AMSA’s President and Director of Kansas City’s Water Services Department, said when presenting Boehlert with the award, "Representative Boehlert has mobilized Congress to address our nation’s water infrastructure funding needs."

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, failure to act on the infrastructure issue will result in a loss to the nation of three decades of water quality improvements. AMSA believes that with supporters like Boehlert, the nation will rise to meet this challenge. More information about the infrastructure issue is available at and

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