Contractors applaud effort to establish Clean Water Trust Fund

The Clean Water Trust Act of 2005, introduced today by U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R�Tenn.), chairman of the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, would help to fund water and wastewater infrastructure needs to protect the environment and the economic well-being of the nation, according to Associated General Contractors of America...

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 15, 2005 -- The Clean Water Trust Act of 2005, introduced today by Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R�Tenn.), Chairman of the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee would help to fund water and wastewater infrastructure needs to protect the environment and the economic well-being of the nation, according to Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

"The Clean Water Trust Act would provide more than $7 billion in annual funding, providing long-term, dependable funding for the nation's water and waste-water infrastructure," said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. "It is smart to support this legislation that allows for a better quality of American life."

The Clean Water Trust Act will:
• help urban and rural communities protect public health and the environment by restoring the federal-state-local financial partnership necessary to achieve the goals of the Clean Water Act;
• create a dedicated, deficit-neutral Clean Water Trust Fund, similar to those that successfully finance highways and airports;
• address the U.S. EPA's estimated clean water funding gap $300-500 billion; and
• guarantee that over 30 years of water quality progress under the Clean Water Act is continued.

The federal commitment to fund water and wastewater infrastructure will assist in meeting federal requirements to protect the integrity of the environment and improve the economic well-being of the nation. Increased funding is sorely needed to eliminate the gap between available funds and the demonstrated need for these critical infrastructure programs.

The creation of a clean water trust fund would secure the long-term viability of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). The CWSRF programs have provided a perpetual source of funding to build and improve the nation's vital water infrastructure while creating jobs and building revitalized communities. If funding were available, at least $7 billion in wastewater infrastructure projects could begin immediately, creating thousands of jobs. This increases the federal commitment by 700% annually.

EPA's Gap Analysis reports the total need for clean wastewater facilities--in both capital and operations & maintenance--exceeds $270 billion over 20 years. For drinking water facilities, the gap approaches $265 billion. The Congressional Budget Office, Office of Management and Budget and several private studies agree that the needs run into the billions of dollars.

The Associated General Contractors of America (www.agc.org) is the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States. AGC represents more than 32,000 firms, including 7,000 of America's leading general contractors, and over 11,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 13,000 service providers and suppliers are associated with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters.

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