INHOFE REQUESTS ADDITIONAL CLEAN WATER FUNDING
Sends letter of request to Senate Budget Committee

Washington, D.C.óSen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, sent a letter today to Senate Budget Committee chairman Judd Greg (R-NH) and ranking member Kent Conrad (D-ND) requesting additional funding for both the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act State Revolving Loan Funds (SRF). The SRFís provide local governments with the necessary resources to address an aging infrastructure and supply clean and safe water to Americans. Senator Inhofe wrote, ìThis nation is truly on the verge of a crisis. Systems are aging and regulatory costs are increasing. The Congress simply must do its part to meet these rising costs. I would appreciate your support for these two important programs.î There are several analyses of the water infrastructure funding gap -- the difference between what we as a nation currently spends on water infrastructure and what funding is actually needed. The analyses show gaps ranging from $3 billion a year to $23 billion a year. Much of the funding gap is due to the rising cost municipalities must incur to meet ever-growing federal regulations while at the same time many treatment plants are exceeding their expected life time. A copy of the full letter is attached. ### March 7, 2005 The Honorable Judd Gregg The Honorable Kent Conrad Chairman Ranking Member Committee on the Budget Committee on the Budget Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20510 Dear Senators Gregg and Conrad: I am writing to communicate my support for an increase in funding for both the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act State Revolving Loan Funds (SRF). The SRFs provide local governments with the necessary resources to address an aging infrastructure and supply clean and safe water to Americans. As you may know, there are several analyses of the water infrastructure funding gap, or the difference between what we as a nation currently spend on water infrastructure and what we need to spend. The analyses show gaps ranging from $3 billion a year to $23 billion a year. Much of the funding gap is due to the rising cost municipalities must incur to meet ever-growing federal regulations while at the same time many treatment plants are exceeding their expected life time. Clearly if the federal government is going to continue imposing insurmountable costs on our towns, it must be willing to put forth a fair share of the money. For the past two Congresses, the Committee on Environment and Public Works has passed legislation to meet the federal obligation by providing more funding to the SRFs. Despite our efforts, the FY2005 Omnibus Appropriations bill included a significant cut to the Clean Water SRF instead of maintaining level funding as recommended by the Senate. I was further disappointed that the Presidentís FY2006 budget proposes to further reduce funding to the Clean Water SRF. This nation is truly on the verge of a crisis. Systems are aging and regulatory costs are increasing. The Congress simply must do its part to meet these rising costs. I would appreciate your support for these two important programs. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Michele Nellenbach of my Committee staff at (202) 224-7855. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, James M. Inhofe, Chairman Chairman JMI/mcn