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Congressman Peter DeFazio

Representing the 4th District of OREGON

Committee Approves Legislation to Improve Wastewater Systems, Reduce Climate Impacts

Oct 29, 2019
Press Release
First Time in 32 Years Congress Has Authorized the Federal Wastewater Program

Washington, DC—The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure today approved bipartisan legislation drafted by Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (OR-04), the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act, H.R. 1497, which authorizes federal funding to help communities across our country build and maintain wastewater infrastructure. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF), the primary source of federal funding for wastewater infrastructure, was last reauthorized by Congress 32 years ago, in 1987. Congress has continued to fund the program, but at less than adequate levels. Notably, the legislation makes progress towards reducing human impacts on climate change by requiring utilities to maximize their energy efficiency potential, including the recapture and reuse of methane, where economically feasible.

“I am pleased my legislation to improve wastewater systems across the country passed through Committee today,” said DeFazio. “America’s water infrastructure is in dire need of Federal investment to make sure we don’t go back to the bad old days before adoption of the Clean Water Act when waterways were so polluted, they caught fire or couldn’t support marine life. It’s clear communities across the country need a partner to carry out critically important protections, which is why our bill authorizes more than $16 billion to improve our wastewater infrastructure, make it more resilient to disasters, and affordable for all communities. In addition, this legislation takes a step towards reducing human impacts on climate change by requiring utilities to maximize their energy efficiency potential, including the recapture and reuse of methane, where economically feasible. What’s more, investing in our water infrastructure will create good-paying jobs and provide communities with infrastructure that will last for decades. I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to pass this legislation, and ultimately the President to sign it into law.”

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