The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have approved legislation, H.R. 7279, the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, that includes a number of provisions authored by Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) earlier this Congress. Latta has worked for years on that legislation which provides communities more flexibility to comply with costly regulations on the nation’s communities in regards to their wastewater infrastructure improvements. Congressman Latta was also successful in having clean drinking water provisions signed into law a few months ago.
“There are billions of dollars’ worth of water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure needs in Ohio, and it’s critical to provide communities with the ability to meet their obligations in a more cost-effective manner,” said Latta. “This legislation is important because it allows municipalities and clean water utilities to decide how to best spend their limited financial resources. Integrated Planning allows communities to allocate funds in a targeted manner, focusing them on the most effective water quality improvements. Modernizing our water infrastructure is a critical issue in the Buckeye State and it’s why I’ve led on efforts in Congress to improve both our wastewater and drinking water systems.”
The legislation has the support of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).
“Congressman Latta has remained a true leader throughout his time in Congress to ensure communities across Ohio are provided with the safe, reliable, and affordable public water services they need and deserve,” said Adam Krantz, NACWA’s Chief Executive Officer. “His legislation and leadership to codify Integrated Planning into law will help further provide communities, both large and small, with the tools they need to meet the growing clean water challenges they face each day. NACWA greatly appreciates Congressman Latta’s hard work and dedication on this strong bipartisan legislation and for his continued commitment to improving our nation’s water and clean water infrastructure.”
Under the Clean Water Act, municipalities on average are spending nearly 7% of their tax dollars on water and sewer systems. Even with that amount of taxpayer money, there is a need for approximately $300 billion for clean water infrastructure investments nationally. Many ratepayers are also seeing sewer rates increase at a rapid pace compared to inflation.