Merkley Votes to Move Clean Water Bill

Merkley Votes to Move Clean Water Bill

New Legislation Would Release Funding for Oregon Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

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.