Sending Office: Honorable David N. Cicilline
Sent By:
Ross.Brennan@mail.house.gov

Prioritize Wastewater Management Projects at the Army Corps of Engineers

*This is a language request*

DEADLINE: COB Thursday, March 15th

Current Cosigners: Lipinski, Carbajal, Davis, Grijalva, Shea-Porter, Pascrell, Raskin, Payne

Dear Colleague:

Please join me in sending a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies requesting language directing the Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize aging wastewater management systems in
financially distressed municipalities.

As you may know, approximately 76% of the population is served by sewage treatment plants, yet 4.1 million of those people are served by facilities providing less than secondary treatment, which is a basic requirement by the Clean Water Act. Often, the financial
burden to meet these requirements falls on state and local governments. This can leave communities experiencing financial distress with outdated infrastructure and facing huge costs to bring them in line with mandates. Ensuring the Army Corps of Engineers
prioritizes wastewater projects in the hardest hit communities will help reduce this burden and will help prevent untreated sewage from contaminating U.S. surface waters.

This appropriations request asks that the Committee include the following language, which was included in the FY 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee Report:

When allocating the additional funding provided in this account, the Corps is encouraged to evaluate authorized reimbursements in the same manner as if the projects were being evaluated for new or ongoing construction and shall consider giving priority
to the following:

for environmental infrastructure, projects with the greater economic impact, projects in rural communities, projects in counties or parishes with high poverty rates, and projects in financially distressed municipalities.

I hope that you will join me in supporting and prioritizing wastewater improvement assistance to financially strapped communities through the Army Corp of Engineer’s general construction fund. If you have any questions or would like to cosign the letter,
please contact Ross Brennan (ross.brennan@mail.house.gov) in my office.

Sincerely,

David N. Cicilline

Member of Congress

 

TEXT OF LETTER

March XX, 2018

 

The Honorable Mike Simpson

Chairman

Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies

House Appropriations Committee

2362-B Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Marcy Kaptur

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies

House Appropriations Committee

1016 Longworth House Office Building, Washington D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Simpson and Ranking Member Kaptur:

As you develop the Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2019, we write to respectfully urge you to include language directing the Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize aging wastewater management systems
in financially distressed municipalities when considering projects funded through its general construction fund.

The Clean Water Act requires water and sewage treatment plants to maintain federally mandated standards to keep our water supply safe and sustainable. About 76% of the population is served by sewage treatment plants, but 4.1 million of those people are served
by facilities providing less than secondary treatment, which is a basic requirement by federal law. Often, the financial burden to meet these requirements falls on state and local governments. This can leave communities experiencing particular financial distress
with outdated infrastructure and facing down huge costs to bring them in line with requirements. This affects all of us, as aging wastewater management systems discharge billions of gallons of untreated sewage into U.S. surface waters each year.

Federal assistance has not kept pace with the needs of wastewater treatment systems, despite the fact that authorities agree that funding needs remain very high. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the country will need to invest $271 billion
over the next 20 years to replace existing systems and build new ones to meet demand. It is critical that we ensure wastewater improvement projects are sufficiently funded and are prioritized to reflect the needs of the community.

We thank you for your continued support for water infrastructure improvement projects. We urge you to include language directing The Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize invaluable wastewater and water improvements assistance to financially strapped communities
through its general construction fund.

Sincerely,

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Transportation

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