This week, the House of Representatives will vote on a proposed fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that contains significant cuts to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Program. The WDBC is urging its members in the water and wastewater industry to contact their representatives TODAY to urge them to oppose these cuts. It is critical that we make our voices heard on this issue.
The House EPA bill contains drastic cuts to the Clean Water and Drinking Water SRFs providing $1.8 billion in total funding – a 23% cut from current levels. The CWSRF is funded at $1.018 billion and the DWSRF at $757 million – a 30% and 16% cut respectively. The Senate bill calls for similar cuts providing the SRFs $1.852 billion — $1.047 for the CWSRF and $776 million for the DWSRF (28% and 14% cuts respectively). You can view copies of the individual bills in the links below.
Steep Cuts to Funding
These spending bills are calling for steep cuts to clean water funding during a time when drinking water and wastewater agencies face increased regulatory and enforcement pressures, including in the Senate appropriations bill itself. At the same time, these cuts come at a time when utilities are also facing management and cost pressures from unprecedented droughts in one third of the country. For these reasons, it is critical that all of us voice our opposition to these cuts by contacting our respective Congressional delegation and urge the full restoration of funding to the Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF programs.
Earlier this month, NACWA and other water sector organizations sent a letter urging Congress to stand firm on funding for clean and safe water infrastructure for FY 2016. The letter specifically calls on Congress to fund the Clean Water SRF at $1.45 billion; fund the Drinking Water (SRF) at $1.186 billion; fully fund the Water Infrastructure Financing & Innovation Act (WIFIA) program at $25 million; and, provide $50 million for water reuse and conservation projects. WDBC is also following tihs path and supports NACWA in this effort.
Contact Your Member
You are invited to use the NACWA coalition letter (depicted above) as a foundation to draft similar letters of their own to Congress.
This advisory alert was brought to you by our friends at NACWA.