For Immediate Release
Food & Water Watch Applauds Introduction of Federal Trust Fund for Clean Water Infrastructure
Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
WASHINGTON - “With U.S. clean water systems requiring some $187.9 billion over the next 20 years, and federal funding for these essential systems falling behind, we applaud Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) for introducing the Water Protection and Reinvestment Act. Food & Water Watch has advocated for this vital legislation for over six years.
“The Water Protection and Reinvestment Trust Fund is expect to raise $9 billion a year and will be distributed to the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Funds. These funding sources include:
• A three cent tax on the containers of water-based beverages in aseptic, glass, cans, plastic, or other sealed packages that are five gallons or less, not including alcoholic beverages, milk, or juice from concentrate.
• A three percent wholesale tax on disposable products normally flushed or disposed of through sewer systems, such as soaps, detergents, toiletries, toilet tissue, water softeners, and cooking oils.
• A 0.5 percent wholesale tax on pharmaceutical products.
“Clean water systems are essential to healthy communities, yet are often taken for granted. Many of our nation’s clean water systems are over 100 years old, and in dire need of repair. Funding for clean water is falling behind system needs – to the tune of some $22 billion a year – and as a result, many municipalities are struggling to meet federal clean water standards and to maintain and modernize their clean water systems. The consequences of coping with aging water systems include sewage spills that render our water unsafe for drinking, swimming, fishing and wildlife.
“Because we cannot always rely on Congress or the president to allocate money to water infrastructure projects, we need to create a dedicated source of federal funding for waste water infrastructure. The Water Protection and Reinvestment Trust Fund will do just that. We look forward to working with Representative Blumenauer to make sure this vital legislation is as strong as it can be, and that it is passed by Congress and enacted into law.”
Contact: Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, (202) 683-2500, kfried(at)fwwatch(dot)org.
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.