Katko Proposes Bipartisan Bill Aimed at Modernizing Water Infrastructure and Protecting Water Quality in Central New York

March 6, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC— Today U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) introduced the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Water (ARPA-H2O) Act of 2020, a bipartisan bill to ensure communities in Central New York and across the country have access to safe drinking water and effective wastewater treatment systems. Rep. Katko was joined by U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D, MI-5) in introducing this bipartisan measure.

ARPA-H2O aims to expand on local efforts from companies like Xylem Inc., an innovative water resources solutions company in Auburn, New York, that develops new technologies to modernize water infrastructure, protect against emerging contaminants like Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), and promote sustainable water management. By establishing the Advanced Research Projects Agency— Water, within the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the ARPA-H2O Act of 2020 will support the research and development efforts of companies like Xylem, providing more communities with access to technologically advanced methods of water treatment and management to make clean water more accessible and affordable.

 “To modernize our water infrastructure and protect water quality in Central New York, I am proud to work in a bipartisan manner to expand on local efforts by Xylem with the introduction of the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Water (ARPA-H2O) Act of 2020,” said Rep. Katko. “Aging water infrastructure poses a serious threat to our drinking water and as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I have been a leader on water quality efforts— passing bipartisan legislation to bring our water infrastructure into the 21st century and working to increase funds for the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs. Building on these efforts, the ARPA-H2O Act will establish an agency within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dedicated to developing innovative technology that improves water treatment, modernizes water management systems, and reduces the cost burden on local municipalities and rate payers.”

“We are grateful to Congressman John Katko for his leadership in championing legislation to enrich the development and application of advanced water technologies to address the issues of water delivery, wastewater transport and treatment, and water reuse,” said Joseph Vesey, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Xylem, Inc.  “The ARPA–H20 Act of 2020 will directly support technology development such as remote sensors, smart metering, network technologies, advanced infrastructure analytics and analytic instrumentation to ensure safe drinking water and a clean environment, while also bolstering local and regional economies.”

“On behalf of public clean water utilities around the counrty I applaud Representatives John Katko and Dan Kildee for advancing this landmark legislation” said Adam Krantz, CEO of National Association of Clean Water Agencies. ”The bipartisan introduction of ARPA-H20 marks Congress’s recognition that clean water is an essential part of America’s infrastructure system. I am certain that the technological innovations and cutting-edge partnerships that will form once this legislation is passed into law will help revolutionize how we think about our most fundamental natural resource - water. ARPA-H2O will help further advance the move toward clean water agencies becoming smart utilities that embrace the full array of sustainable, resource recovery initiatives.”  

ARPA-H2O also has the support of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), Water Environment Federation (WEF), The Water Research Foundation and WateReuse Association.”

As water infrastructure in Central New York and across the country continues to age and threaten water quality, last Congress Rep. Katko worked in his capacity as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to pass bipartisan legislation to help communities in Central New York update and maintain their water systems. More recently, Rep. Katko voted in support of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiatives (GLRI) Act, bipartisan legislation that passed the House to protect waterways and drinking water.