Increased Flow on Capitol Hill

Tuesday, the White House released its budget proposal. While most of the national news has highlighted the cuts to Medicaid, Food Stamps and other programs, the cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would amount a 31% decrease in funding according to an NPR report. This would account for the largest percent decrease found in President Donald J. Trump’s proposal.

Of course, the proposal will go through several revisions before it ultimately is approved by Congress, but what has been revealed so far falls in line with the administration’s prior actions regarding the EPA. And the message still seems clear: reduce the burden of regulations on EPA-regulated industries.

The cuts to EPA, however, should not overshadow other news this week. President Donald J. Trump signed an act issuing $8 million to Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, a new water infrastructure bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate, and American Water Works Assn. testified on improvements to the Safe Driking Water Act (SDWA).

These all are positive for the water and wastewater industries in the U.S. More money allocated for infrastructure can lead to better water quality for many and plenty of work for water treatment dealers and engineers.

In addition to infrastructure funding, the proposed Senate bill (S.1137) also authorizes the EPA WaterSense program, which Barbara C. Higgins, Pluming Manufacturers Intl. CEO Barbara C. Higgens said is “an example of an effective collaboration between industry and the government in determining voluntary, water-efficient performance measures.”

And with AWWA testifying the need for a review and update of the 1996 SDWA amendments, the push for improvements to regulations, legislation and funding in the water industry are a high priority in Washington.

How do you feel about the movements on Capitol Hill? How do you think the proposed cuts to the EPA will impact the water industry? Let us know in the comments below, by sending an email to wqpeditor@sgcmail.com or through a message on Twitter or Facebook.

Movement on Capitol Hill has increased WIFIA funding an EPA Watersense exposure.

Bob Crossen is managing editor for WQP. Crossen can be reached at bcrossen@sgcmail.com or 847.954.7980.

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