American Water supports Senate action on Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act of 2010
VOORHEES, NJ, April 28, 2010 -- American Water supports S. 3262, the bipartisan Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act of 2010, which will remove state volume caps on private activity bonds (PABs) for water and wastewater projects...
VOORHEES, NJ, April 28, 2010 -- American Water, the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater company, supports S. 3262, the bipartisan Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act of 2010 introduced by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and cosponsors Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Senator John Kerry (D-MA). The bill will remove state volume caps on private activity bonds (PABs) for water and wastewater projects, freeing up billions of private capital dollars for investment in the nation's water infrastructure. A similar bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last year by Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) was passed by the House as part of the Small Business and Infrastructure Tax Act last month.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Government Accountability Office, there is an investment gap of more than $500 billion for necessary infrastructure upgrades over the next 20 years to ensure safe drinking water and wastewater treatment. This bill would create up to 57,000 jobs by converting a modest investment by the federal government into billions of dollars of necessary economic investment into our nation's aging water and sewage infrastructure. Standard and Poor's cites approximately $180 billion in new money available for infrastructure investment.
"This legislation will not only address the nation's deteriorating water and wastewater infrastructure, estimated to be a trillion dollar challenge by the EPA, it will also generate thousands of jobs and help stimulate the economy," said Don Correll, President and CEO of American Water Works Company Inc. (NYSE: AWK). "Exemption for bond caps exists for other infrastructure but not for water. Removing these caps will free up crucial investment dollars and create needed jobs."
Other major infrastructure components already exempt from existing caps include airports, high-speed rail and solid waste disposal. PAB issuance is one of the fastest forms of federal assistance when applied to water and wastewater projects, with only 90 -- 120 days needed to complete the process, from approval to sale to get Americans to work. Many small and local engineering and construction businesses will benefit from project opportunities that will arise from an increased availability of resources.
Providing opportunities for public water providers to leverage private sector investment in water and wastewater infrastructure, the bill will also generate significant tax revenue for states and communities across the country. According to the Clean Water Council, each $1 billion invested in water infrastructure yields an increase of $82.4 million in state and local tax revenue.
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 16 million people in 35 states, as well as Ontario and Manitoba, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.