Waltz, Brown Fight for Funding Water Quality Projects
Washington, October 22, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, U.S. Congressmen Mike Waltz (R-FL) and Anthony Brown (D-MD) introduced the Clean Water Allotment Modernization Act of 2021. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark Kelly (D-NJ) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
The Clean Water Allotment Modernization Act (CWAMA) would enact long-overdue reforms to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) formula, which determines the amount of federal funding each state receives for water quality projects, including wastewater systems (septic-to-sewer conversions), stormwater management, nonpoint source, water reuse, and estuary projects. The current formula has not been updated since 1987.
“Florida currently receives one of the smallest clean water allocations from the EPA despite having some of the most critical water quality needs in the country,” said Rep. Waltz. “We are being shortchanged by this outdated formula – and look at the impact on a devastated Indian River Lagoon, dying manatees and aquatic life, Red Tides and freshwater algal blooms, and regressing wetland ecosystems across Florida.”
“It’s time to bring our water infrastructure into the 21st century,” said Rep. Brown. “Modernizing this critical program will reduce pollution and protect important environmental resources like Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. This is a common-sense change that’s long overdue.”
This bill would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to routinely develop an updated allotment (as they currently do for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund), reform the Clean Watersheds Needs Survey, and implement an updated interim allotment formula for fiscal years 2022 through 2026 to provide more equitable state revolving fund allotments.
The adjusted formula would significantly increase Florida’s allotment, enabling the state to finance billions of dollars in new clean water infrastructure over the next decade. Florida’s population and water infrastructure demands have substantially increased over the last 34 years, especially with more frequent water impairment issues like harmful algal blooms and red tide.
“By fixing this formula, we can ensure Florida gets the federal funding necessary for wastewater systems, stormwater management, and estuaries like Indian River Lagoon.” Waltz said.