Member Pipeline - Legislative - Alert (LA02-05)
To: Members & Legislative Policy Committee From: National Office Date: June 10, 2002 Subject: VOLUNTEER FOR NEW TASK FORCE ON INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING Reference: LA02-05
Action Please By:
June 28, 2002
At the May 2002 AMSA Board of Directors meeting, President Paul Pinault announced the formation of a new AMSA task force on wastewater infrastructure financing. The task force will be chaired by Bill Schatz, General Counsel of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and Treasurer of AMSA. The primary objective is to formulate and implement a campaign to identify a new source of federal revenue to fund capital projects and enhance ongoing efforts by AMSA and the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN). AMSA President Pinault invites all interested AMSA members to become a part of this effort by joining the task force by June 28, 2002.
AMSA and WIN have been successful over the past two years in educating Members of Congress and national policy makers about the need for more federal financial assistance for wastewater infrastructure projects. Both of the two bills that are currently pending in the House (H.R. 3930) and the Senate (S. 1961) would reauthorize the Clean Water Act state revolving loan fund at $20 billion over five years. Although AMSA and WIN have been successful in their efforts to generate authorizing legislation, it is becoming increasingly apparent that congressional appropriators will not be able to appropriate the authorized amounts for these bills out of the general revenue fund. The budget priorities of both Congress and the Bush Administration will remain focused on defense, military, and homeland security. Consequently, the gap between current investments in wastewater infrastructure and the investments that will be needed over the next 20 years will continue to grow. The creation of a new AMSA task force will focus the industry’s attention on discovering new solutions to finance the replacement of aging and failing pipes and treatment works.
Task Force Objectives
The task force will have three main objectives. The first is to explore new financing mechanisms that would increase the federal share of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure projects. The second is to devise a plan to activate a nation-wide grassroots effort by effected parties, including ratepayers. The third and final objective is to enhance current lobbying efforts in Washington, DC and to extend this effort to State capitals and the offices of local elected officials.
How to Volunteer
The work of the task force will be conducted in conjunction with regularly scheduled AMSA conferences, teleconference calls and through email. The first meeting of the task force will be held in July during the AMSA Summer Conference in Portland, Oregon. To register for the Summer Conference, go to: http://www.amsa-cleanwater.org/meetings/02summer.
If you are interested in volunteering your time and your talents to the AMSA task force on long-term funding, please contact AMSA’s Lee Garrigan by e-mail at: email@example.com or by phone at (202) 833-4655. Please forward your name and title, agency name and address, and your phone, fax and email information by Friday, June 28, 2002. We look forward to your participation in this important work.