Sending Office: Honorable Gwen Moore
Sent By:
Chris.Goldson@mail.house.gov

Current signers: 
Moore, Napolitano, Chabot, Fitzpatrick, DeFazio, Al Green

 

March 15, 2019

Dear Colleague,

We urge you to join our request that the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies fully fund the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)
Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program, reauthorized in the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.

Our nation’s cities, both large and small, urban and rural, are facing a water infrastructure crisis. In many communities, combined sewer overflows and sanitary sewer overflows can
result in the discharge of excess wastewater directly to a community’s streams, rivers, or other water bodies – releasing untreated or partially treated human and industrial waste, toxic materials, and other debris.  These discharges can cause human and animal
health hazards, water quality impacts, bacterial contamination, aesthetic impacts, algae growth, and reduced oxygen levels in bodies of water.  Similarly, discharges of excess stormwater can cause downstream flooding, stream bank erosion, increased turbidity,
habitat destruction, and damage to downstream infrastructure.  A list of communities with Combined Sewer Systems can be found here.

Sewer overflows and stormwater management are addressed by EPA and the States through the Clean Water Act; however, implementation of control measures and compliance can be very costly. 
In addition, many communities across the country are turning to water recycling as a way of addressing concerns about the availability of safe and reliable sources of potable and non-potable water in the future, including the capture, treatment, and reuse
of stormwater flows.

Congress has provided States and local communities with several options to help finance Clean Water related infrastructure investments, including efforts to address combined and sanitary
sewer overflows and stormwater. Yet, even with robust funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) – the leading source of Federal wastewater infrastructure financing – many communities and individual ratepayers will continue to struggle to afford
SRF loan repayments and other financing costs. As you may know, clean water costs are overwhelmingly borne by local ratepayers and communities, with the federal share of water infrastructure costs coming down from a high of 75 percent in the years following
enactment of the Clean Water Act in 1972 to less than 5 percent in recent years.

In recognizing the challenges facing too many communities across our nation, in the America’s Water Infrastructure Act, Congress authorized $225 million in grants annually to support
cost-sharing state and direct municipal grants for the planning, construction, design and management of treatment works for combined sewer and sanitary sewer overflows or stormwater management. By providing an additional source of Federal grant funding for
States and municipalities, Congress was responding both to the need to help invest in our nation’s crumbling water-related infrastructure, as well as respond to the calls from communities to make such investments more affordable.

Fully funding this grant program in fiscal year 2020 is a necessary step towards protecting our communities from any further or future water pollution.  Again, we urge you to join
us in asking the Interior Subcommittee to fully fund the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program
in fiscal year 2020.   If you have any questions or to sign onto the letter, please contact Chris Goldson in Representative Moore’s office at
chris.goldson@mail.house.gov The deadline for the letter is March 29, 2019

 

Sincerely,

Gwen Moore                                                    Grace F. Napolitano
Member of Congress                                        Chairwoman

                                                                        Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment

 _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 April 1, 2019

 The Honorable Betty McCollum                                  The Honorable David Joyce,

Chairwoman                                                                Ranking Member

2256 Rayburn House Office Building                          1124 Longworth House Office Building

House of Representatives                                             House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515                                                Washington DC 20515

 

Dear Chairwoman McCollum and Ranking Member Joyce:

We respectfully write to express our support for Fiscal Year 2020 funding of $225 million for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal
Grant program, authorized by section 221 of the Clean Water Act, as amended by the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.

Our nation’s cities, both large and small, urban and rural, are facing a water infrastructure crisis. In many communities, combined sewer overflows and sanitary sewer overflows can
result in the discharge of excess wastewater directly a community’s streams, rivers, or other water bodies – releasing untreated or partially treated human and industrial waste, toxic materials, and other debris.  These discharges can cause human and animal
health hazards, water quality impacts, bacterial contamination, aesthetic impacts, algae growth, and reduced oxygen levels in bodies of water. Similarly, discharges of excess stormwater can cause downstream flooding, stream bank erosion, increased turbidity,
habitat destruction, and damage to downstream infrastructure.

Sewer overflows and stormwater management are addressed by EPA and the States through the Clean Water Act; however, implementation of control measures and compliance can be very costly. 
In addition, many communities across the country are turning to water recycling as a way of addressing concerns about the availability of safe and reliable sources of potable and non-potable water in the future, including the capture, treatment, and reuse
of stormwater flows.

Congress has provided States and local communities with several options to help finance Clean Water related infrastructure investments, including efforts to address sewer overflows
and stormwater. Yet, even with robust funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) – the leading source of Federal wastewater infrastructure financing – many communities and individual ratepayers struggle to afford SRF loan repayments and other financing
costs.- As you may know, clean water costs are overwhelmingly borne by local ratepayers and communities, with the federal share of water infrastructure costs coming down from a high of 75 percent in the years following enactment of the Clean Water Act in 1972
to less than 5 percent in recent years.

EPA’s Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Control Grant program authorizes federal grant funding to States and municipalities for the planning, design, and construction of
treatment works and other measures for combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or stormwater management. The law further requires that at least 20 percent of the funds are utilized towards green infrastructure, water and energy efficient improvements
and other environmentally innovative activities. Utilizing green infrastructure, which promotes the natural movement of water, and other equally innovative wet weather management measures is cost-effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.

The grants authorized by Congress last year provide a structured, effective, and strong source of federal funding that will help our state and local partners move forward on worthwhile
projects in a manner that can be more affordable to our communities and ratepayers.  It is incumbent that we now fully fund this program.

We thank you for your consideration of this request to fully fund the Clean Water Act’s newly reauthorized Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Control Grant program.

Sincerely,

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