WWEMA applauds Senate action on water infrastructure funding bill

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works passed legislation that would dramatically increase the authorization funding levels for the two state revolving fund (SRF) programs used to finance the nation's drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 28, 2004 -- The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works passed legislation that would dramatically increase the authorization funding levels for the two state revolving fund (SRF) programs used to finance the nation's drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The "Water Infrastructure Financing Act" (S. 2550) authorizes $20 billion for the Clean Water SRF and $15 billion for the Drinking Water SRF over a five-year period, beginning in fiscal year 2005.

"This legislative action not only affirms the importance that Congress places on the nation's critical water and wastewater infrastructure and the need to protect the long-term financial corpus of the state revolving fund programs, but also establishes a new prioritization process to reward communities that have asset management and revenue plans in place to ensure sustainable operations," remarked Dawn Kristof, president of the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association.

One of the more contentious provisions in the bill that could jeopardize its passage by the full Senate is a requirement that projects receiving SRF assistance comply with Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rates. "This could be a deal breaker in both chambers if the respective leaderships cannot work out a compromise position," Kristof warned. A similar bill (H.R. 1560) has been stalled in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure since last July, due in part to the Davis-Bacon controversy.

"Prospects for passage of a water infrastructure financing bill during this election year remains in doubt, but these bills will serve as a starting point for debate early in the next congressional session," predicted Kristof.

Since 1908, WWEMA has informed, educated and provided leadership on the issues that shape the future of the water and wastewater industry.

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