ACWA/CASA Testify at House Hearing

  • by Josh Abel
  • Sep 27, 2017
  • Water News

ACWA member David Pederson, General Manager of Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, testified on behalf of ACWA and the California Association of Sanitation Agencies at a House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources hearing on September 26. The hearing, entitled “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Water Stakeholders Perspective,” provided an opportunity for ACWA and CASA to offer recommendations to ensure continued progress on improving water quality.

The Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment has jurisdiction over the Clean Water Act and Army Corps of Engineers and California lawmakers are actively involved in this Subcommittee. California Representatives Doug LaMalfa (R-1), Grace Napolitano (D-32), Jared Huffman (D-2), Alan Lowenthal (D-47), and John Garamendi (D-3), and Julia Brownley (D-26) are all members.

At the hearing, Mr. Pederson discussed four important issues for ACWA and CASA in his testimony.

  • First, we ask the Subcommittee and Congress to recommit robust levels of federal funding for water infrastructure. CASA and ACWA strongly support the State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loan Programs, Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program and other programs to provide federal funds for water infrastructure projects.  Additionally, we ask that Congress update the allocation formula used to distribute Clean Water SRF Program funds to states.
  • Second, we request that National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit terms be extended from five to ten years, while retaining existing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and delegated state authority to reopen permit terms based on current law. This proposed change to the Clean Water Act would provide significant benefits to states and local public water/wastewater agencies and would better reflect the technological and administrative realities of the modern era.
  • Third, we recommend that Congress support integrated planning as an effective means for public agencies to address multiple Clean Water Act requirements. We believe integrated plans support more comprehensive water planning and lead to the implementation of water quality improvements to address the most serious threats, while stretching limited local resources.
  • Fourth, we request that Congress avoid any potential inclusion of consolidation or reorganization of local water and wastewater agencies as a criterion for federal funding assistance or ranking projects for funding. Any consideration of consolidation or reorganization must recognize the purpose for which the agency was formed and the important role it serves in the community.

A webcast of the hearing along with Mr. Pederson’s full testimony can be viewed here.

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