Mucarsel-Powell Introduces Bill to Increase Funding for Environmentally-Innovative Water Infrastructure Projects
Washington, May 1, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, while congressional leaders negotiate an infrastructure plan with the White House, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), vice chair of the Water Resources & Environment Subcommittee of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, introduced the Water Infrastructure Sustainability and Efficiency (WISE) Act, legislation to strengthen our commitment to environmentally-friendly water infrastructure by requiring at least 20% of Clean Water State Revolving Fund be invested in green infrastructure and environmentally-innovative water projects. By adding this requirement, Mucarsel-Powell aims to make the fight against climate change an integral part of any infrastructure agreement.
“In order to save our environment, we need to make bold investments so we can innovate our way to a future where no one lacks clean water,” said Mucarsel-Powell. “In South Florida, we are witnessing more intense and more frequent flooding due to extreme weather. I am proud to be taking a step towards reducing these risks by investing in green technologies. If passed, we could, by law, continue fighting against climate change and prioritizing projects that will reduce our municipalities’ reliance on outdated or crumbling water infrastructure and sewage systems.”
"With summer coming, the last thing people want is sewage overflows and runoff pollution contaminating the beaches where they swim,” said Ed Johnson, President of Environment America. “This green infrastructure bill promotes the best solutions to ensure that we prevent this pollution and have clean water and safe beaches."
The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 required all Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs to use a portion of their federal grant for projects that address green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency, or other environmentally innovative activities. This legislation would require that the annual percentage be at least 20% of CWSRF funds for environmentally-innovative water infrastructure instead of subjecting that percentage to the whim of congressional appropriators and allowing it to be much lower as in previous years.