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Duncan introduces wastewater bill

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.) introduced legislation to establish a trust fund to improve our Nation’s wastewater treatment facilities.

“Clean water is our Country’s most valuable resource, and we must do everything possible to protect it,” Duncan said.

The Clean Water Trust Fund Act of 2005 establishes a Clean Water Trust Fund to provide an assured source of funding to help the nation meet its water infrastructure needs. The bill provides funds to local communities to update their wastewater treatment facilities. It also increases funding for improvements in infrastructure management, research and the development of new technologies that will improve our ability to manage our water resources.

In addition, this legislation provides funding to address water quality issues in critical regional waters, and to improve and protect wetlands and fisheries uses.

Duncan said, “There is nothing as important and yet nothing as taken for granted as a safe, clean supply of water. We have to do more to protect and enhance our clean water and wastewater systems for the future.”

“We know our Nation’s water infrastructure is getting very old. In fact, it is common in older systems to find pipes that were laid as far back as the 1800s,” Duncan added.

“As chairman of the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, I am aware of the problems faced by municipal wastewater treatment agencies. I have held hearings on this issue, and I have heard over and over from our utilities that we need this legislation to protect our clean water supply,” Duncan said.

“We must meet the challenge of finding more efficient and less expensive ways to address our wastewater treatment needs.”

Ken Kirk, National Association of Clean Water Agencies executive director, said, “Chairman Duncan deserves tremendous credit for his commitment to an innovative and real-world approach to an issue that threatens the nation’s economy, public health and environment. The Clean Water Trust Act will help control sewer overflows, enhance fisheries and wetlands, encourage research, spur new technologies, enhance investment in small and rural utilities and protect critical regional waters such as the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers backed the introduction of the Clean Water Trust Act.

“The development of clean and safe drinking water systems is one of the greatest advancements in public health,” said ASCE President Dennis Martenson. “I commend Representative Duncan for introducing this crucial legislation, and for taking the crucial first step in protecting and enhancing the health, safety and welfare of the nation’s citizens.”

In a recent public opinion poll by Frank Luntz, 86 percent of Americans support the introduction of a bill in the U.S. Congress that would create a long-term, sustainable and reliable Trust Fund for clean water infrastructure.


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