WEF Commends Introduction of Water Quality Protection, Job Creation Act
Organization offers support for infrastructure funding legislation
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) has submitted a letter of support to Congressmen Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Tim Bishop (D-NY) for the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2011, H.R. 3145—a new bill that was introduced earlier this month on Capitol Hill.
The new legislation proposes a federal investment of $13.8 billion in wastewater infrastructure over five years through the renewal of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF).
This much needed funding would also help create thousands of new domestic jobs in the engineering, construction and clean water sectors while providing financial assistance for communities to address wet weather overflows and create incentives for innovation including green infrastructure, energy efficiency and watershed approaches.
“This legislation not only recognizes the need for federal investment to protect the gains we have made in water quality over the past four decades," said WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger. “It also addresses the unique challenges of the 21st century by prioritizing innovative approaches to sustainable water management.”
WEF is particularly pleased that the bill authorizes a new financing tool enabling loans and loan guarantees for large projects and in support of State CWSRF programs. The federation and its water sector partners have worked hard over the past year to promote legislation to create a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority [WIFIA]—patterned after the successful Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program. WIFIA would dramatically leverage available federal funds and serve as a complement to the CWSRF.