House Passes Gibbs’ Bipartisan Bill to Help Communities Comply with Clean Water Standards
Washington, D.C. – Bipartisan legislation to provide greater flexibility and ease burdens on local communities working to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) wastewater and storm water standards under the Clean Water Act was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday evening by a vote of 351 to 10.
H.R. 7279, the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, was introduced by U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH).
Cities and other municipalities charged with delivering water utility services to their residents must also face the challenges of complying with regulatory mandates from the Environmental Protection Agency for wastewater and stormwater systems, in addition to the rising costs of these potentially burdensome mandates.
H.R. 7279 gives communities the ability to sequence their water projects to meet regulatory or safety obligations more affordably, and to focus on projects that will actually deliver safe and affordable water utility services, rather than simply focusing on regulations and red tape.
“Many of our Nation’s cities, towns, and municipalities are faced with EPA mandates, aging water infrastructure, and rising repair or construction costs,” said Gibbs. “These problems, and the price to fix them, ultimately fall on residents. Integrated Planning can help bridge the gaps between these issues, encourage innovative solutions, and prevent undue financial burdens on ratepayers. Access to clean and affordable water utilities is important to everyone, and the municipalities tasked with delivering it should have every tool at their disposal. I want to thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for coming together to find solutions to the water infrastructure problems our communities face.”
“I commend Congressman Gibbs for his continued leadership on this issue and for helping communities across the country find ways to deal with real world challenges and solutions in meeting clean water standards and ensuring that taxpayers don’t suffer unnecessarily from higher utility rates,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA)