BIPARTISAN WATER INFRASTRUCTURE BILL INTRODUCED

Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, along with Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.), ranking member of the full committee, Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), chairman of the subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water, and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water, today introduced the ìWater Infrastructure Financing Act,î which will provide $38 billion over five years to our nationís cities and municipalities to address aging water infrastructure and provide clean, healthy, safe, and secure water. The legislation updates and improves upon the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Revolving Loan Funds, provides targeted grant assistance, and includes incentives for innovative and non-traditional approaches to address water pollution. Senators Inhofe, Jeffords, Chafee and Clinton released the following statements: Sen. Inhofe, chairman of the EPW Committee ìThe federal government has imposed numerous expensive regulations on our cities and towns without providing sufficient funding to meet our obligations under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. I am pleased to be joined by my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in offering bipartisan legislation to address the well-documented funding gap between what we as a nation currently spend and what we need to spend to meet these regulatory mandates and update aging infrastructure. The nation is on the verge of a crisis with its water and wastewater systems and action must be taken now.î Sen. Jeffords, ranking member of the EPW Committee ìI am pleased with the bipartisan legislation we are introducing today to address our nationís water infrastructure needs. This bill represents a new awareness on the part of the federal government that our nationís water supply is becoming an increasingly precious resource. With this legislation we renew our commitment to the water systems of the nation and help states and local communities provide clean and safe water for our citizens for years to come.î Sen. Chafee, chairman of the EPW Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water ìI am pleased to be introducing the bipartisan Water Infrastructure Financing Act with Chairman Inhofe and Senators Jeffords and Clinton. As our communities struggle to meet the rising costs of delivering clean, safe drinking water and wastewater services through aging delivery systems, this legislation will provide critical new authorized funding for water infrastructure. Further, the bill contains important new grant components for addressing today's more complex water issues, as well as resources for improving the health of watersheds, and reducing stormwater and combined sewer overflows entering waterbodies such as Narragansett Bay. I look forward to swift passage of this vital legislative package.î Sen. Clinton, ranking member of the EPW Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water ìWe know that the projected costs of water infrastructure will outstrip currently available funding sources by billions of dollars over the next twenty years. This bipartisan legislation will provide new funding to our cities and towns to help them clean up their lakes and streams and provide safe drinking water.î