Agency Estimates $298 B Needed for Water Pollution Control

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a new report that estimates that nationwide capital investment needs for wastewater and stormwater pollution control will be more than $298 billion over the next 20 years.

The "2008 Clean Watersheds Needs Survey" summarizes the results of the agency’s 15th national survey on publicly owned treatment works needs. The estimate includes $192 billion for wastewater treatment and collection systems, $64 billion for combined sewer overflow corrections and $42 billion for stormwater management.

The report documents a $43 billion (17 percent) increase (in constant 2008 dollars) in investment needs over the previous 2004 report. The increase is due to a combination of improved reporting, aging infrastructure, population growth and more protective water quality standards.

In addition to the $298 billion in wastewater and stormwater needs, other needs for nonpoint source pollution prevention ($23 billion) and decentralized/onsite wastewater systems ($24 billion) are included in the report.

The report is a collaborative effort between 47 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and EPA. From February 2008 through April 2009, states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories collected and provided data for the report.

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