Gibbs Introduces Legislation to Aid Municipalities with EPA Permitting
WASHINGTON, DC – After hearing the concerns from local governments regarding the costs and environmental benefits of Clean Water Act mandates, Congressman Bob Gibbs, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment introduced the Water Quality Improvement Act of 2016 today. This legislation codifies EPA’s Integrated Planning Process, provides cities, municipalities and local governments long-term flexibility in achieving the goals of providing clean water for residents.
The bill seeks an approach that allows cities to prioritize projects to maximize environmental benefits and the protection of public health, while taking into consideration the impact of costly water and sewer mandates on poor and middle-income residents.
“Too many cities and towns in America are facing expensive EPA mandates with no real way to achieve them,” said Gibbs after introducing the legislation. “One-size-fits-all policies out of Washington do not work when American mayors and administrators need flexibility. The Water Quality Improvement Act will write into law the EPA’s Integrated Planning Process, providing that flexibility.”
Gibbs continued, “Our communities need to be given flexibility in complying with mandates that may not even be technically achievable or economically affordable. I am proud to support our nation’s cities, mayors, and their residents by introducing this bill.”
In a letter of support to Gibbs, The United States Conference of Mayors praised the legislation:
“Your bill would allow local government, who all have low and moderate income households spending financially burdensome amounts on water and wastewater bills, to work with their state and EPA to implement comprehensive plans that sequence the requirements for major investments with priority given for those with the greatest health and environmental benefits”.
A copy of the letter from the U.S. Conference of Mayors can be found here.
The text of the legislation can be found here.