VOORHEES, N.J.--()--American Water, the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater company, has announced its support for H.R.1802, the bipartisan/bicameral Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act of 2011 introduced by U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Geoff Davis (R-KY) and Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mike Crapo (R-ID). The bill will remove state volume caps on private activity bonds (PABs) for water and wastewater projects, freeing up billions of private capital dollars for investment in the nation’s water infrastructure. Such bond cap exemptions currently exist for other infrastructure improvements, but not for water.
“Municipalities face competing demands for scarce financial resources right now and water infrastructure repair and improvement, though vital, is often deferred. Public-private partnerships are an essential part of the solution and this legislation will go a long way towards making more such partnerships a reality.”
"This bi-partisan legislation will play a key role in enabling investment in our nation’s water infrastructure,” said Jeff Sterba, President and CEO of American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE: AWK). “Municipalities face competing demands for scarce financial resources right now and water infrastructure repair and improvement, though vital, is often deferred. Public-private partnerships are an essential part of the solution and this legislation will go a long way towards making more such partnerships a reality.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Government Accountability Office, there is an investment gap of more than $500 billion for necessary infrastructure upgrades over the next 20 years to ensure safe drinking water and wastewater treatment. The Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act could create up to 57,000 jobs by converting a modest investment by the federal government into billions of dollars of necessary economic investment into our nation’s aging water and sewage infrastructure.
A report by the Cadmus Group for The U.S. Conference of Mayors also determined that water and wastewater infrastructure investment stimulates the nation’s economy and creates jobs. This report states that for every one dollar of water and sewer infrastructure investment, it is estimated that Gross Domestic Product increases by $6.35 in the long-term.
Other major infrastructure components already exempt from existing caps include airports, high-speed rail and solid waste disposal. PAB issuance is one of the fastest forms of federal assistance when applied to water and wastewater projects, with only 90–120 days needed to complete the process.
About American Water
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in more than 30 states as well as parts of Canada. More information can be found at www.amwater.com.
In 2011, American Water is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a yearlong campaign to promote water efficiency and the importance of protecting water from source to tap. To learn more, visit www.amwater125.com.