The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) has sent a letter to leaders of the U.S. House and Senate’s subcommittees to express support for EPA’s water infrastructure funding programs in the 2024 fiscal year.
The letter addressed the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittees.
The Biden Administration's $12 billion FY24 spending plan for EPA includes funding for all water and wastewater infrastructure programs authorized by the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (DWWIA) of 2021.
However, EPA has found that, in order to maintain current levels of service, the nation's drinking water systems require more than $470 billion worth of improvements over the next 20 years. As water systems start working to comply with new regulations related to PFAS, the cost is expected to increase in the coming years.
"The failure to fund these important water infrastructure programs would have real-world impacts across the country, from water rate increases to pay for backlogged capital improvements to the potential for more frequent water service disruptions that erode the public trust in drinking water quality,” said AMWA CEO Tom Dobbins. “As the fiscal year 2024 appropriations legislation takes shape, AMWA urges Congress to fully fund EPA's critical water infrastructure programs."
In its letters the association requested strong funding for EPA's water infrastructure programs, including:
- $3 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund;
- $100 million for grants to address emerging contaminants like PFAS;
- $80 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program;
- $50 million for the Midsize and Large Drinking Water System Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Program;
- $100 million for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water grants; and
- $40 million for the Voluntary School and Child Care Program Lead Testing and Reduction Grant Program.
AMWA also urged appropriators to provide FY24 funding for EPA's Rural and Low-Income Water Assistance Pilot Program, so the agency may to begin using the newly authorized program to offset the water and wastewater service costs to low-income households.