Merkley Votes to Move Clean Water Bill

Washington, DC
Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley joined his colleagues on the Senate Environment
and Public Works Committee in approving legislation to re-authorize funding for
clean drinking water and wastewater treatment infrastructure in Oregon. 
By authorizing up to $34.7 billion over five years, the Water Infrastructure
Financing Act supports public health, job creation, and economic growth in
communities around the state and around the country.

 “Clean drinking water and
effective wastewater removal are critical for Oregon’s communities to thrive,”
said Merkley.  “This legislation expands federal financing for water infrastructure
that cities and small towns, especially those in our Western states, depend
on.  I’m happy to support a policy that will create jobs and provide clean
water to more Americans.”

The bill will increase Oregon’s
share of the federal water money and will, in combination with President
Obama’s budget, triple the federal dollars coming to Oregon’s Clean Water State
Revolving Fund.  The legislation will also improve water infrastructure
around the country by:

·     •   
Reserving 1.5 percent of the funding from the
bill to be distributed to Indian tribes for water infrastructure;

·     •   
Making it easier for communities to pay for
projects by lengthening the contract term for loans;

·     •   
Including incentives to encourage the
construction of low-impact, environmentally-friendly infrastructure; and

·     •   
Creating a new fund for agriculture projects
that improve water quality or water efficiency.