May 08, 2013

Bishop, Transportation Leaders Introduce Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2013


Transportation Leaders Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Create Jobs, Protect Water Quality

Washington, D.C. – Democratic and Republican leaders on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today joined together in introducing bipartisan legislation that would create American jobs by investing $13.8 billion over five years through the State Revolving Fund (SRF) and other efforts to improve water quality.

“Investments in rebuilding our nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure will create thousands of jobs while benefitting the health of our communities, our economy, and our environment for decades to come,” said Congressman Tim Bishop, top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. “Passing this bipartisan legislation will provide a significant boost to the struggling construction industry and lay the foundation for sustainable growth in our communities and our economy.”

The “Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2013” is being introduced by Bishop (D-NY), U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, as well as former Full Committee Chairman Don Young (R-AK) and U.S. Representative Peter King (R-NY).  The bill renews the Federal commitment to addressing our Nation’s substantial needs for wastewater infrastructure by investing $13.8 billion in the SRF, which, for decades, has been the traditional mechanism for Federal wastewater infrastructure assistance. 

The bill also proposes two complimentary initiatives for the long-term financing of wastewater infrastructure through the establishment of direct loan and loan guarantee programs and a Clean Water Infrastructure Trust Fund.  These proposals, when implemented in concert, would leverage billions of additional dollars to meet local wastewater infrastructure needs.

“Like much of our national infrastructure, the water and wastewater lines which help to maintain the health and vitality of communities and attract new businesses are in desperate need of modernization,” said.  “The bipartisan legislation we are introducing today provides a reliable funding source for the repair and expansion of our water infrastructure, while immediately creating jobs across the country and delivering a needed shot in the arm for our economy.”

“This legislation will help revitalize our critical water and wastewater infrastructure, support our local economies, and generate needed construction jobs,” said Rep. Don Young (R-AK). “Congress needs to address these critical needs.”

The bill would also permanently codify within the Clean Water Act, the application of Davis-Bacon prevailing wages for the construction of wastewater treatment infrastructure as well as  the application of Buy American provisions.  A summary of the legislation as well as letters of support can be found on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Democrats’ website.

Asummary and section-by-section analysis of the legislation is available on the Committee Democrats’ website as well as letters in support of the Water Quality Protection and Jobs Creation Act of 2013. Organizations supporting the Water Quality Protection and Jobs Creation Act of 2013 include:

Letters of Support:

American Public Works Association (March 1, 2013)

American Society of Civil Engineers (February 25, 2013)

Associated General Contractors of America (February 20, 2013)

BlueGreen Alliance

Food and Water Watch (February 26, 2013)

National Association of Clean Water Agencies (February 23, 2013)

National Construction Alliance II (February 26, 2013)

Sierra Club (March 4, 2013)

United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada (February 26, 2013)

Water Environment Federation (February 25, 2013)