Gibbs Introduces Integrated Planning Bill, Provides Permitting Relief for Cities
WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to give American cities and towns flexibility when complying with Environmental Protection Agency mandates, Congressman Bob Gibbs introduced the Water Quality Improvement Act today. The bill sets into law an EPA program called Integrated Planning, which gives cities, municipalities, and local governments the ability to prioritize projects and mandates in an effort to provide clean water for its residents.
Cities can use Integrated Planning to prioritize water infrastructure projects to maximize environmental benefits while considering the financial impact those mandates have on poor and middle-income residents.
“Cities and towns across the country are faced with EPA mandates with few options in complying with them. Flexibility is needed to ensure safe and reliable water and sewer systems provide efficient and affordable service for all residents,” said Congressman Gibbs after introducing the bill. “One-size-fits-all policies from agencies in Washington are not the right approach when environmental, social, and financial factors change from city to city. I want to thank Congressman Steve Chabot for co-sponsoring this legislation and his past legislative efforts on providing permitting relief to our communities. I am proud to support our nation’s cities, mayors, and their residents with the Water Quality Improvement Act.”
The U.S. Conference of Mayors has previously written in support of the legislation. "This bill would provide a necessary tool to local governments who are trying to protect the environment and public health in a cost-effective and efficient manner," said U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran in response to the introduction of the Water Quality Improvement Act. "We applaud Mr. Gibbs for his leadership on this issue."
The text of the legislation can be found here.