Rock Products

APR 2019

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Page 52 of 79 ROCK products • April 2019 • 51 ENVIRONMENT The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) is a federal infrastructure program that provides low-interest loans to states – requiring a 20 percent state match – for wastewater and stormwater infrastructure improvements. Since 1987, the CWSRF has loaned $42 billion to 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, allowing states to leverage over $126 billion in wastewater infrastructure improvements. The CWSRF is the primary source of federal assistance for states and communities to construct, repair, and replace the nation's network of wastewater and stormwater systems. The nation's wastewater and stormwater-treatment facili- ties provide a critical service in protecting public health and the environment. However, these infrastructure systems are aging and face a growing fund gap. ASCE's 2017 Infrastruc- ture Report Card gave the nation's wastewater infrastructure a "D+," and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that $271 billion will be needed for wastewater infrastructure over the next 20 years. It is expected that 56 million new users will be connected to centralized wastewa- ter treatment centers in the coming years, which will require the construction of 532 new systems by 2032. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) said it supports robust legislation that invests in wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and is endorsing the biparti- san Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2019 (H.R. 1497). This legislation was introduced by House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Chair of the House Transportation & Infrastruc- ture Subcommittee on Water Resources & Environment Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), along with Reps. John Katko (R-N.Y.), and Don Young (R-Alaska). This bill reauthorizes the CWSRF for $20 billion over five years, funds non-point and point source water-pollution-control programs, and creates pilot programs to promote stormwater best management practices and resiliency. Also this week, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Sub- committee on Water Resources & Environment held a hearing entitled "The Clean Water State Revolving Fund: How Federal Infrastructure Investment Can Help Communities Modernize Water Infrastructure and Address Affordability Challenges." ASCE submitted a Statement for the record outlining clean water infrastructure priorities. In his opening remarks, Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) called for an "all-hands-on-deck approach to reserve the decline of our nation's infrastructure," including searching for new fund- ing sources, increasing public-private partnerships (P3s), improving federal regulations, focusing on innovative tech- nologies, and EPA implementation of its integrated planning initiative. Wheeler Confirmed as EPA Chief The Senate confirmed former coal industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to lead the Environ- mental Protection Agency, despite concerns by Dem- ocrats and one Republican about regulatory rollbacks he's made in eight months as the agency's acting chief. Senators voted 52-47 to confirm Wheeler, who was nominated by President Donald Trump after former administrator Scott Pruitt resigned last year amid a series of ethics allegations. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate envi- ronment committee, called Wheeler "uniquely qualified" to lead EPA and said that under Wheeler the agency is putting forward proposals that "both protect our environment and allow the country's economy to flourish." But Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said Wheeler was failing to protect the environment and human health and was "nom- inated to unravel and undo the environmental protections that are now in place." Maine Sen. Susan Collins was the sole Republican to oppose Wheeler. National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association President and CEO Michael W. Johnson issued the following statement on the confirmation of Wheeler. "We commend the Senate for confirming Andrew Wheeler as EPA Administrator. Andrew Wheeler will provide the lead- ership necessary to administer the programs that provide for clean air and water to all Americans. Aggregates produc- ers need regulatory certainty to operate and build Americas communities and the roadways that connect them. We look forward to working with Administrator Wheeler and his staff on regulations that are vital to protecting the environment and allowing businesses to operate and compete in the global marketplace." Congress Introduces Clean Water State Revolving Fund Legislation

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