NAWC Backs Reauthorization of Revolving Loan Funds

As S.1005 — a bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and Safe Drinking Water Act to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in the United States — is marked up in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) is encouraged that Senate leaders have taken strides to address issues critical to our nation’s drinking water and wastewater systems.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) were last reauthorized 22 years ago and 13 years ago, respectively.

The introduction of S. 1005 is very timely, given the current state of the nation’s infrastructure and the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act earlier this year, the group's press release stated. NAWC supports Congress’ efforts to continue to address the issues surrounding water infrastructure financing, water quality and sustainability.

“NAWC commends the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works for renewing its commitment to the established and successful State Revolving Loan Fund programs for water and wastewater infrastructure financing,” remarked Louis Jenny, deputy executive director of government affairs and public relations, NAWC. “We also commend the leaders of this Committee for expanding the reach of the SRF to make the benefits of low-cost wastewater funding available to all Americans.”

Bipartisan support for the bill further underscores the importance of such legislation. Among the provisions in the bill are $35 billion in funding for water projects over five years, including infrastructure, recycling and conservation measures. Of that, $20 billion is allotted for the CWSRF and the DWSRF could receive up to $14.7 billion in funding.

NAWC supports making the benefits of the State Revolving Funds available to all wastewater utility customers through an expanded scope of eligible wastewater purveyors. The association also supports the expanded scope of eligible projects to include treatment works security, water conservation, water reuse, energy efficiency, asset and utility management improvement plans and, watershed improvement plans.

Additionally, NAWC is pleased with the provision that would preclude non-compliant treatment works from receiving the benefit of federal funding unless there is a plan to take corrective action, resolve violations, and move toward compliance with health and environmental laws.