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Congressman Peter DeFazio

Representing the 4th District of OREGON

March 05, 2019 Chairs DeFazio, Napolitano, Reps. Young, Katko Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Address Wastewater Infrastructure Challenges

Mar 8, 2019
Press Release

Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Representative Don Young (R-AK), and Representative John Katko (R-NY) introduced the bipartisan Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2019 to address America’s crumbling wastewater infrastructure and local water quality challenges.

“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 (CWA) when waterways were so polluted, they caught fire or couldn’t support marine life,” said DeFazio. “Following enactment of the Act in 1972, the Federal government provided substantial funding to help communities meet the new mandates because the government realized that pollution doesn’t stop at local or state boundaries. Today, we still have mandates, but provide very little Federal assistance to communities. It’s clear communities across the country need a partner to carry out critically important protections, which is why our bill authorizes approximately $23.5 billion to improve our wastewater infrastructure, make it more resilient to disasters, and affordable for all communities. What’s more, investing in our water infrastructure will create good paying jobs and provide communities with infrastructure that will last for decades.”

“The Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act will help to address the current crisis we are facing in the West due to ongoing drought and increased stormwater control issues,” Napolitano said. “It makes tremendous investments in water recycling and reuse, groundwater recharge, and stormwater projects, priorities we have worked on for decades in Southern California. Our bill delivers critical assistance to cities and water agencies to meet the demands of their water customers with cost-effective and reliable solutions, as well as construct stormwater systems to address Clean Water Act stormwater permits. I thank Chairman DeFazio, Congressman Young, and Congressman Katko for their partnership on this critical legislation to meet the water infrastructure needs of communities across America.”

“Alaska’s communities know just how precious a resource safe drinking water is. The State Revolving Fund program is vital to help secure funding for water, sewage, and solid waste system upgrades across our state” said Young. “This legislation takes important steps to tackle pollution and ensure that Alaska’s families have access to the clean water they deserve. I am grateful for Representative Napolitano and Chairman DeFazio’s leadership on this important issue, and will continue working to fight pollution and keep our water infrastructure safe.”

“Since coming to Congress, I have made it a priority to modernize our nation’s water infrastructure and ensure access to clean water. The bipartisan Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act achieves these goals by increasing federal investment in local water projects,” said Katko. “In particular, this legislation allocates $20 billion in grants for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which provides financial relief for communities in Central New York and nationwide to address water infrastructure needs. Additionally, over $3 billion is directed towards grants for water pollution and treatment. These grants will establish thousands of jobs and create economic growth, as well as secure clean water in vulnerable communities around the country. I am proud to support this legislation and I look forward to bringing America’s water infrastructure into the 21st century.”  

H.R. 1497, the “Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2019”, provides approximately $23.5 billion in direct infrastructure investment over the next five years to address America’s crumbling wastewater infrastructure and local water quality challenges.

This bipartisan bill renews the Federal commitment to addressing local water quality challenges by providing an infusion of Federal assistance for the construction, repair, and replacement of the Nation’s network of wastewater and stormwater conveyance and treatment facilities. The Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2019 significantly increases the amount of Federal assistance made available to States and communities through the successful Clean Water State Revolving Fund program—the primary source of Federal assistance for wastewater infrastructure construction.