“We look forward to working with you to ensure the safety and modernization of our nation’s water infrastructure and water resources needs remain a top Congressional priority this year.”

October 24, 2020

The Honorable John Barrasso
Chairman
Environment and Public Works Committee
United States Senate
410 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Tom Carper
Ranking Member
Environment and Public Works Committee
United States Senate
456 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Peter DeFazio
Chairman
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
2134 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Sam Graves
Ranking Member
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee United
U.S. House of Representatives
1135 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairmen Barrasso and DeFazio and Ranking Members Carper and Graves:

On behalf of the state and local elected leaders that our organizations represent, thank you for your leadership in developing bipartisan water resources bills that will maintain a strong water infrastructure system, ensure access to clean and safe drinking water, and support the nation’s economic growth and maintenance of global competitiveness.

Our members recognize the substantial benefits provided to the nation by our water resources and urge Congress to continue the two-year authorization cycle and approve this vital bipartisan legislation this year. Given the current economic uncertainty across the nation, it is of utmost importance that Congress pass this essential piece of legislation to aid economic recovery and growth.

As you negotiate a final water resources bill, we write to reiterate our shared priorities from the letter our organizations sent on April 24, 2020 and express our gratitude for many provisions we previously highlighted included in America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (S. 3591), the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (S. 3590), and the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (H.R. 7575) that support these priorities.

Specifically, we ask for your continued support for:

  • • Expanding and engaging state and local intergovernmental partners in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision-making, project-planning and implementation processes.
  • • Federal financing programs that support investments in water infrastructure, such as the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Program.
  • • Maintenance and modernization of our nation’s ports and harbors by fully unlocking the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for its designated purpose and allowing for the beneficial reuse of dredge material.
  • • Measures that promote flood mitigation and resilience, including using natural infrastructure and water conservation.
  • • Recognizing the tremendous budget shortfalls that have been experienced by states and local governments as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and consider reducing the required state and local government cost-share requirements for projects.

We look forward to working with you to ensure the safety and modernization of our nation’s water infrastructure and water resources needs remain a top Congressional priority this year. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us: Alex Whitaker (NGA) at 202-920-7454 or awhitaker@nga.org; Kristen Hildreth (NCSL) at 202-624-3597 or kristen.hildreth@ncsl.org; Adam Pugh (NACo) at 202-942-4269 or apugh@naco.org; Carolyn Berndt (NLC) at 202-626-3101 or Berndt@nlc.org; Judy Sheahan (USCM) at 202-861-6775 or jsheahan@usmayors.org.

Sincerely,

Bill McBride
Executive Director
National Governors Association

Tim Storey
Executive Director
National Conference of State Legislatures

Matthew D. Chase
Executive Director
National Association of Counties

Clarence E. Anthony
CEO and Executive Director
National League of Cities

Tom Cochran
CEO and Executive Director
The United States Conference of Mayors

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