A task force of the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Policy Resolutions: 74th Annual Conference (Las Vegas, 2006)

RECAPITALIZING THE STATE REVOLVING FUND (SRF) LOAN PROGRAMS ANNUALLY TO HELP COMMUNITIES IMPROVE WATER INFRASTRUCTURE AND MEET FEDERAL WATER MANDATES

WHEREAS, a recent Survey conducted by The U.S. Conference of Mayors Urban Water Council identified rehabilitating the aging urban water resources infrastructure as the number one water priority facing America’s principal cities; and

WHEREAS, the Survey also indicated that from 52 percent to 83 percent of cities are currently engaged in making major capital investments in five types of water infrastructure: water supply; water treatment plants; water distribution systems; wastewater treatment plants; and wastewater collection systems; and

WHEREAS, many of the nation's communities face staggering costs for making upgrades and repairs to protect and improve water quality and to meet federal clean water and drinking water mandates; and

WHEREAS, the federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) are intended to help communities meet federal water quality mandates, but continue to be substantially underfunded, and will not satisfy the $530 billion plus “Needs Gap” estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to comply with federal mandates; and

WHEREAS, the federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) have been significantly cut back in recent years, to the point where some communities are facing a 50 percent or greater reduction in new loan funds made available for public-purpose water and sewer projects; and

WHEREAS, the federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), while inadequately funded, has proven to provide significant public benefits including: better water quality to protect drinking water, protection of aquatic life and wildlife, improvements in waters used for primary and secondary contact recreation, and protection of waters providing fish and shellfish for human consumption; and

WHEREAS, the continued implementation of federal unfunded mandates (like the drinking water standard for arsenic and other regulations) add significant capital costs for municipal water treatment systems that cannot realistically be complied with without federal financial assistance;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the continuation of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act State Revolving Fund loan programs as currently implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the public and environmental benefits derived from these programs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors strongly urges the Congress and Administration to annually approve recapitalization authorizations to the CWSRF at $1.355 billion or more, and the DWSRF at $850 million or more; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors strongly urges the Congress to approve legislation to substantially increase the authorized levels for both Funds to help reverse the continuing decline of the federal share of financing these federally mandated improvements.


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