ACEC: States' failure to spend stimulus dollars is 'travesty' retarding nation's economic recovery
WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 25, 2009 -- Nine months ago, Congress allocated $4 billion to the states to fund wastewater projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Today, most of that money remains unspent...
WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 25, 2009 -- Nine months ago, Congress allocated $4 billion to the states to fund wastewater projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Today, most of that money remains unspent, despite the critical need to create jobs and upgrade the nation's water infrastructure.
Six states and the District of Columbia have yet to spend any of the funds, and five states have used less than 10 percent of their funding, according to the latest data provided by the House of Representatives' Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The Committee reports that the states overall have used less than one-third of their funds.
"It's a travesty -- especially during these hard economic times when economy recovery and job creation are job one -- that most states are tardy in spending their federally appropriated dollars for wastewater projects," said David A. Raymond, president of the American Council of Engineering Companies.
Congress allocated the $4 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Six states -- Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Mississippi, Rhode Island and Utah -- and the District of Columbia have yet to put a single wastewater project out to bid to use these funds. Any money that a state does not use by February 17, 2010 will be taken back and distributed to other states.
States have put out to bid only 48 percent of the funds; have contracted for just 30 percent; and have actually started projects on only 23 percent. Only 12 states have utilized more than 50 percent of their funds, led by Minnesota (97 percent), Colorado (90 percent), Arizona (86 percent), and Maine (82 percent).
About the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of America's engineering industry, representing approximately 5,700 independent engineering companies throughout the United States engaged in the development of America's transportation, environmental, industrial, and other infrastructure. Founded in 1909 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 51 state and regional organizations.