HOUSE APPROVES KATKO MEASURE TO RESTORE CRITICAL WATER INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday evening, the House of Representatives unanimously approved an amendment offered by U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) to restore critical water infrastructure funding to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF).
Rep. Katko, who has long advocated for numerous programs to strengthen water infrastructure in Central New York, offered the amendment to increase the Clean Water State Revolving Fund by $250 million, maintaining fiscal year 2017 levels. The SRF is the primary federal program that provides financial assistance for states and local communities nationwide to make high priority water investments. The majority of public water systems and municipalities across Onondaga, Cayuga, Wayne, and Oswego Counties depend on these funds to maintain and repair local water infrastructure. Earlier this week, President Trump announced his opposition to cutting this funding.
“In Central New York and communities nationwide, municipalities are faced with aging water infrastructure. This poses a growing threat to economic growth, public health, and our environment. The state revolving funds are a proven, critical tool for States and local communities to make high priority water infrastructure investments that may not otherwise be feasible,” said. Rep. Katko. “In approving this amendment, the House restored $250 million to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, and will ensure that families across Central New York and our country have access to clean, safe water.”
Speaking on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday evening prior to the vote, Rep. Katko urged passage of the amendment, and noted that Onondaga County has leveraged over $20 million in funding this year through the State Revolving Funds to upgrade the Syracuse-Metro sewage treatment plan to continue to improve the water quality of Onondaga Lake.
Longstanding bipartisan support for the SRFs has helped to address growing infrastructure gaps nationwide and investment needed to maintain clean and safe water infrastructure throughout the country. With the EPA estimating our national twenty-year capital improvement need to be over $650 billion for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure combined, the SRF program ensures local communities have access to affordable financing.
“Aging water infrastructure, throughout Central New York, is a present and ongoing issue and State Revolving Funds are critical with respect to affordable reinvestment in our drinking water systems, wastewater systems and the overall protection of our vital water resources. We are pleased that Congressman Katko protected this important funding that all Central New Yorkers rely on to provide safe, clean water to all our residents,” said Michael E. Hooker, Executive Director, Onondaga County Water Authority.
County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, “Onondaga County is proud of its record of investing in our water infrastructure. This funding will ensure that we able to continue making investments in our water systems so that residents and businesses are provided with clean, reliable water. Thank you to Congressman Katko for leading the fight on the federal level.”
“The City of Owego has directly benefited from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund in the past and will continue to take advantage of such crucial funding opportunities,” stated City of Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow. “I applaud Congressman Katko for his continued third work and focus on the critical needs of Central New York communities like Oswego and for giving local municipalities the proper resources to address some of our most pressing needs.”
Adam Krantz, CEO, National Association of Clean Water Agencies said, “The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) was extremely pleased and grateful that the House voted to restore $250 million to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund in Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18), which would maintain FY17 levels and avoid damaging and drastic cuts. The CWSRF is a critical funding tool for clean water agencies and its strong bipartisan support reflects its successful track record in local communities around the country. We thank Rep. Katko for his leadership.”
“Wastewater treatment plants provide clean sanitation services to over 240 million Americans, and this program is a lifeline to ensure these utilities remain in good working order and continue to improve water quality. With wastewater getting a ‘D+’ in the latest Infrastructure Report Card, we applaud Rep. Katko’s efforts to restore this critical low-cost financing source for states and communities,” said Norma Jean Mattei, P.E., Ph.D., president, American Society of Civil Engineers.
Congressman John Katko represents the 24th Congressional District, which includes all of Onondaga, Cayuga, and Wayne Counties and a portion of Oswego County. For more information, please visit https://katko.house.gov or www.facebook.com/RepJohnKatko.