Today Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), along with Congressman Tim Walz, (D-MN), introduced the Clean Water Affordability Act of 2014. This bill will assist municipalities to more affordably manage their wastewater infrastructure projects.
“This bipartisan bill will help communities with EPA mandated water infrastructure improvement projects. Much of our district’s rural communities and municipalities are burdened with EPA mandates for water infrastructure projects with no financial assistance, therefore forcing communities to cover the total cost for these mandated projects,” Latta said. “If H.R. 3862 is signed into law, cash-strapped municipalities will receive much needed relief by receiving additional flexibility for managing these projects.”
“Everyone should have access to a clean, affordable, and abundant supply of drinking water,” Congressman Walz said. “This bipartisan bill will cut through red tape and give our rural communities the flexibility and certainty they need to provide that water supply.”
Specifically, H.R. 3862 amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, updating the EPA’s clean water affordability policy to assist municipalities’ that cannot meet unfunded mandates to improve their wastewater infrastructure projects. Under the bill, municipalities will have an extended loan repayment period from the current limit of 20 years to 30 years, as well as allow extra time for their implementation schedules of up to 30 years for projects. In addition, it will allow states to use up to 30 percent of total capitalization grants received by the state as grant funds.
“Across the country, communities are struggling to pay for the critical wastewater infrastructure necessary to protect public health and the environment. NACWA thanks Congressmen Bob Latta (R-OH) and Tim Walz (D-MN) for introducing The Clean Water Affordability Act to provide communities with the added flexibility to advance clean water projects while minimizing the financial impacts on already stressed ratepayers and municipal budgets. Optimizing limited resources will help communities improve water quality and community vitality, and we urge Congress to enact this important legislation,” added Ken Kirk, Executive Director, National Association of Clean Water Agencies.