Statement: House hearing showcases value of increasing federal investment in water infrastructure

Media Contacts
Josh Chetwynd

Laura Miller

Increasing clean water funding is urgently needed to protect communities, ensure safe access to our waterways, and recover from the pandemic

Environment America

WASHINGTON — The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing Tuesday on the urgent need to boost water infrastructure funding as part of the administration’s plan to “Build Back Better.”

Every year billions of gallons of sewage overflows and stormwater runoff pollute our beaches, rivers and other waterways with pathogens. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that we will need $271 billion over the next 20 years to maintain and repair our wastewater infrastructure. Investing in overhauling outdated and failing water infrastructure works and is proven to benefit waterways, communities and the environment.

Environment America’s Clean Water Advocate Laura Miller issued the following statement:

“It is crystal clear that our water infrastructure is in desperate need of an upgrade. Sewage spills and stormwater runoff pollution plague our favorite waterways even in winter. What’s worse, we can expect these sources of pollution to increase in coming years as climate change heightens the likelihood and severity of storms and flooding. But, thankfully, as we saw in this hearing, solving this issue through increased funding boasts bipartisan support.

“Congress must prioritize protecting and enhancing waterways in any infrastructure package. Funding for natural infrastructure and other projects that are most effective at preventing pollution is critical to keep our waters safe for swimming. Projects that meet this criteria have a history of success around the country.

“We applaud the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for prioritizing water infrastructure investments. Next up, the committee must reinstate the 20 percent carve-out for natural and green infrastructure and ensure that pollution permits for wastewater plants remain strong and updated regularly to address threats to our health and environment.

“Nearly 50 years ago, our nation committed to the vision of making all our waterways safe for swimming. But we will only achieve this vision if we return to robust investments to upgrade our water infrastructure.”

staff | TPIN

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