Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 12, 2000

CONTACT:
Jubi Headley
(202) 293-7330

Kevin McCarty
(202) 293-7330

Conference Joins Bipartisan Congressional Group to Call for Increased National Investment in Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

Washington, DC -- Today The United States Conference of Mayors stood with bi-partisan group of key members of Congress, to call for increased attention to the need for increased investment in our nation's water and wastewater infrastructure.

At a Capitol Hill press conference, Lynn (MA) Mayor Patrick McManus, who chairs the Conference of Mayors Urban Water Council, said, "The time has come for the nation to turn its attention to these critical assets-our water and wastewater infrastructures-like we did earlier this month for aviation in enacting "AIR-21" and two years ago for surface transportation in enacting "TEA-21."

"We have reached the point where we must reinvigorate our governmental partnership, and commit the additional resources, particularly here in Washington, to invest in water infrastructure," Mayor McManus continued. As evidence of the immediate need to address this issue, McManus pointed to a comprehensive report by the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN), released during the press conference, that outlines the crisis facing our nation's wastewater and drinking water systems. The report-developed under the auspices of the wastewater treatment and drinking water providers, environmental organizations, contractors, and environmental engineers-highlights the dramatically increasing gap between our nation's water infrastructure needs and the federal government's financial commitment to safe and clean water.

"Despite the many efforts of local communities, the gap between what must be done and what can be done locally is growing - that gap today stands at $34 billion and is growing, as the WIN report shows," Mayor McManus said. "As a representative of local governments, I am here to assure you that we are doing our part at the local level. It is just simply more than we can do alone, or with limited outside support."

Congressman Sherwood "Sherry" Boehlert (PA), Chairman of the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, Congressman Bob Borski (FL), the Ranking Democratic Member, Congressman Michael Bilirakis (FL), Chairman of the Health and Environment Subcommittee, and Congressman Sherrod Brown (OH), the Ranking Democratic Member, hosted the press conference.

Other speakers included:

Peter DeFazio, Member
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

Rep. Jim Barcia, Member
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

Stephen Gorden, Director
Detroit Water and Sewerage Department

Willie Horton, Executive Director
Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District

The United States Conference of Mayors (www.usmayors.org) is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,100 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.

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