Request Line: (870) 277-1080 [email protected]
Text Your Gift to KLEK1 to 44-321 LEARN MORE

Your Community Radio Station is possible thanks to this supporter!  Become an underwriter.

A New Approach to Funding Water Projects

Written by Press Release

October 17, 2018

The Senate added one more very important bill to its list of bipartisan accomplishments this Congress, passage of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act.  

This bill authorizes critical water infrastructure projects across the country for the next two years, which will help ensure our nation’s continued growth and maintain our position as a leader in the global economy. It is in lock step with President Trump’s vision for modernizing our infrastructure which will lead to more economic growth, less red tape, stronger personal property protections and improved transparency—all while being fiscally responsible. 

Included within the America’s Water Infrastructure Act is an innovative approach to modernizing critical water infrastructure—especially in rural areas often unable to afford upgrades to aging water systems—that is based off legislation I authored with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). 

The new program will combine the best aspects of two existing funding programs to make the process easier and more affordable for states to meet their underserved or unmet water infrastructure needs. It will increase access to previously unavailable funding sources for small and medium-size communities, while removing high application fees which often prevent rural communities from applying for funding. 

This policy change is the result of months-long negotiations. It blends the best ideas available to ensure this common sense, bipartisan approach will work effectively and efficiently while providing millions, and potentially billions, in project dollars to communities that have traditionally not had access to these types of funds. Making this change will allow a multitude of vetted water and wastewater projects to receive funding without the Environmental Protect Agency having to process thousands of additional applications. 

With support from a diverse group of senators, ranging from Jim Inhofe (R-OK) to Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), this new initiative to address overdue water infrastructure upgrades has the opportunity to yield dividends across the country. The fact that this new policy has cosponsors from across the country, with vastly different political ideologies, underscores an important point. Infrastructure investment is not a rural issue, or a big city issue. It is not a red state problem or a blue state problem. This is a national emergency, and it is time we put partisanship aside and work together to provide safe and reliable drinking and wastewater services to every part of our country. 

This message is echoed by the diverse voices in the industry and advocacy community, on both a national and state level, who have put their support behind my idea. Kristina Swallow, President of the American Society of Civil Engineers, praised our new funding option “that will improve our nation’s water infrastructure.” Dennis Sternberg, Executive Director of Arkansas Rural Water Association, applauded the policy update to extend these authorities to states and localities, noting that “small communities have more difficulty affording public wastewater service due to lack of population density and lack of economies of scale.” He agrees that this new program will be a real help to rural America. 

Passage of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act is in itself a bipartisan victory, as it cleared the Senate 99-1 in the final vote, a strong show of support that is not often seen with a bill of this magnitude. It will soon become law, setting a great example of the good policy outcomes that can be accomplished if we work together.

Original article source: https://www.boozman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/10/a-new-approach-to-funding-water-projects | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Related Articles

MKARNS: 50 Years Fueling Economic Growth

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ largest public works project – the 445-mile McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) – was completed 50 years ago this month. It’s important to understand how Read more

Help Wanted: Getting Arkansans Back to Work

Arkansas, like other states, is rebounding from the pandemic in a stronger position than we might have expected around this time last year. Recently, Governor Hutchinson announced the state had the Read more

Congratulations Graduates

The development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has guided the nation back to normalcy. I have enjoyed resuming in-person meetings with Arkansans instead of conducting business over the phone or Read more

Standing with Israel

Israel has endured increased terrorism and aggression from Hamas militants in recent days, including rockets fired at Israeli cities that have killed and wounded innocent civilians. This outbreak of violence Read more

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Your Community Radio Station is possible thanks to this supporter!  Become an underwriter.

Pin It on Pinterest