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Brown, Waltz, Rubio, Scott Introduce Bill to Modernize State Water Quality Allocation

U.S. Reps. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) and Anthony Brown (D-Md.) have introduced legislation to modernize the national water quality allocation formula to states. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Reps. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) and Anthony Brown (D-Md.) have introduced legislation to modernize the national water quality allocation formula to states. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

H.R. 5628, the Clean Water Allotment Modernization Act, would update the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) formula, which determines the amount of money states receive for water quality projects. The current formula has not been updated since 1987.

The CWSRF provides states annual funding for low-interest financing of water infrastructure projects, including wastewater systems (septic-to-sewer conversion), stormwater management, estuary projects, nonpoint source and water reuse projects.

The House version of the bill is currently supported by seven other members, including Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Al Lawson, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, Francis Rooney, Ross Spano and John Rutherford.

“It’s time to bring our water infrastructure into the 21st century,” said Brown. “Modernizing this critical program will reduce pollution and protect important environmental resources like Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. This is a common sense change that’s long overdue.”

“As a lifelong Floridian, one of my first goals when I came to office was to improve our state’s water quality,” said Waltz. “I quickly discovered Florida has been shortchanged by the outdated Clean Water State Revolving Fund. In order to keep our water clean, every dollar matters.”

If passed, the legislation would update the CWSRF allotment formula to include Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Water Needs Survey data, decennial Census population counts and states’ Quality Impairment Component Ratio. These factors for modifying to the allotment formula are consistent with EPA’s 2016 recommendations to Congress, Review of the Allotment of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Moving forward, the allotment will be updated every four years to reflect the most recent needs, population and impairment data.

The adjusted formula would significantly increase Maryland’s allotment, enabling the state to finance new clean water infrastructure over the next decade. Maryland’s population and water infrastructure demands have substantially increased since 1987 as the state continues efforts to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay and other waterways.

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