Integrated CSO LTCP / MS4 Funding Bill Introduced
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced legislation [bill number not available] on February 9 that would require EPA to integrate stormwater and wastewater control programs into a single, long-term plan. The Clean Water Affordability Act is aimed at updating EPA’s clean water affordability policy. The current EPA affordability policy does not provide for a full and accurate representation of the financial impacts of clean water investment programs on communities struggling to meet federal regulations for improving their water infrastructure. The Clean Water Affordability Act authorizes $1.8 billion over five years for a grant program to help financially distressed communities update their aging infrastructure.
The legislation would also establish that:
- The program would provide a 75-25 cost share for municipalities to use for planning, design, and construction of treatment works to control combined and sanitary sewer overflows.
- The implementation schedule for water quality related improvements must be tailored to the affected community’s unique financial condition.
- A financial capability assessment should consider more broadly each community’s economic situation.
- Environmental improvements should be structured to mitigate the potential adverse impact of their cost on distressed populations.
- Allows for reopening of approved Long Term Control Plans for green infrastructure projects.
- Payback of State Revolving Fund loans are extended from 20 to 30 years
- Establishes integrated permitting that requires EPA to prioritize the funding of most cost-effective and most important water quality projects.