Waltz Fights to Modernize Florida Water Quality Allocation
Washington, DC, September 23, 2019
On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) questioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler about an antiquated formula shorting Florida millions of dollars annually for financing water quality projects.
Established in 1987, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) provides states an annual allotment for low-interest financing of municipal water infrastructure projects. Eligible projects include wastewater systems and treatment facilities, stormwater management, estuary projects and others. Septic-to-sewer conversion costs are eligible for CWSRF financing.
Unfortunately, the CWSRF’s formula for determining state allotments has not been updated since 1987 and according to a 2016 EPA report to Congress, the formula does not adequately meet the needs of most states in the country. Florida has unique water challenges and has the third most significant water infrastructure needs in the country according to the EPA’s Clean Watersheds Needs Survey. In 2019, Florida received the third-lowest allotment per capita from the CWSRF program nationwide.
“[The Clean Water State Revolving Fund] is a critical tool for Florida in addressing a number of our water challenges,” Waltz said. “There’s a massive disconnect in this fund. Florida has the third most-significant infrastructure needs in the nation…yet Florida is receiving the third-lowest [allotment] in the country….this disconnect is unacceptable.”
View the exchange below: