May 30, 2012

U.S. Conference of Mayors to Commemorate Clean Water Act

Will host panel discussion with five mayors about city water systems

U.S. Conference of Mayors to Commemorate Clean Water Act

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a landmark federal law protecting water resources in the United States, the U.S. Conference of Mayors will host a panel discussion with five mayors on Thursday, May 31 at the National Press Club. During the session, the mayors will highlight the progress that has been made, as well as underscore the urgent need for reform of rules governing city-water systems as aggressive environmental unfunded mandates collide with the ability of cities' ability to pay for them.

The mayors will also engage in an interactive conversation with reporters to explain their local challenges and their interactions with EPA, as well as offer suggestions to both EPA and Congress to better meet the water/wastewater needs of cities and their residents.

Providing safe and adequate water and wastewater infrastructure and services is the third largest expenditure of municipalities after education and electrical supply, yet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to pursue a program that expands the responsibility of cities and significantly increases their financial burden. Cities are almost single-handedly shouldering this burden while also dealing with increasing long-term debt and shrinking municipal funds.