Water Infrastructure Bill Will Benefit People, Wildlife & Water Quality

“It is obvious that our nation’s aging water infrastructure is no longer up to the job."

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Wildlife Federation supports the bipartisan Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act (H.R. 1497), which is being marked up today in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. 

“It is obvious that our nation’s aging water infrastructure is no longer up to the job. Across the country, sewer pipes, septic tanks and treatment plants are breaking down because they have exceeded their lifespan. All too often, the worst impacts fall on low-income communities,” said Jessie Ritter, the National Wildlife Federation’s director of water resources. “This bill will help address our infrastructure crisis by doubling the authorized funding for state-selected projects that protect drinking water, safeguard communities and reduce pollution in rivers and streams.”

More information about the bill: 

Clean Water State Revolving Fund: This bill will increase authorized funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to $4 billion annually, which more than doubles current levels.

Green infrastructure: H.R. 1497 directs 15 percent of Clean Water State Revolving Funds to projects that incorporate green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency projects, and other environmentally innovative activities. This cost-effective measure will benefit communities while protecting water quality and wildlife habitat. 

Low-Income Communities: The National Wildlife Federation applauds the provisions that reduce costs for low-income communities by directing additional subsidization to vulnerable communities receiving Clean Water State Revolving Fund assistance and by increasing the federal assistance for vulnerable communities to help address sewer overflows and treat stormwater. 

Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES): The National Wildlife Federation opposes the proposal to extend the length of time NPDES permits are issued to state and municipal dischargers. These permits are currently issued for five years, and the utilities advocating for ten-year permits have not provided a convincing justification for the change. The National Wildlife Federation will support a final bill that maintains the current bill’s language in Section 7, which places safeguards on the ten-year permits to help protect water quality.   


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