Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Senator Mark Kelly, pictured here on a visit through Graham and Greenlee counties, introduced the Clean Water Allotment Modernization Act of 2021 with bipartisan support.
WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced the Clean Water Allotment Modernization Act of 2021, legislation which would update a 34-year old formula used to determine the allocation of federal Clean Water Act resources to states, among other reforms. A 2016 EPA report indicates that an updated formula based on both population and need would triple the amount of funding available to Arizona. U.S. Representative Michael Waltz (R-FL) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“Securing Arizona’s water future remains a top priority for our state and for me in the Senate,” Kelly said. “This bipartisan legislation I am introducing with Senator Rubio will ensure that Arizona has the funds needed to make key investments that address our state’s current and future groundwater and wastewater needs.”
“Protecting and restoring Florida’s water quality is incredibly important for our state,” Rubio said. “It is common sense that we should not be relying on an arbitrary, 34-year old formula to allocate federal resources to states. It’s time to modernize the CWSRF so that all states have access to water infrastructure loans through a fair and transparent funding formula.”
“This legislation will help ensure Florida receives the funding it deserves to preserve our waterways, environment, and natural resources,” Scott said. “The current funding formula hasn’t been updated since 1987, yet Florida’s population has grown by nearly 10 million since then. It’s time to make this important change. People come from around the world to enjoy our state’s natural beauty, and I will always work to protect our environment for generations to come.”
The Clean Water Allotment Modernization Act of 2021 would enact long-term reforms to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) by:
- Requiring the EPA to routinely develop updated allotment formula based on a reformed Clean Watersheds Needs Survey, similarly to the current Drinking Water SRF program, beginning in FY2027;
- Expanding state participation in the Clean Watersheds Needs Survey by allowing each state to use a portion of their CWSRF allotment to assess infrastructure need; and
- Implementing an interim allotment formula for fiscal years 2022 through 2026 to provide more equitable SRF allotments. Under the interim formula, SRF funds will be allotted through two “pots.” Each state would receive an initial amount of funds that is equal to its FY21 allotment, while any appropriations provided to the CWSRF above FY21 levels would be allotted based on each state’s share of the U.S. population.