Contact your legislator!
GMWEA and VRWA encourage the Governor and Vermont legislators to increase the ARPA allocation for drinking water and clean water projects from $170M to $350M and to include $180M for replacement of aging water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure as an additional area of targeted investment. This funding should be provided at a minimum of 90% grant funding.
Over the next 10 years, Vermont municipalities, ratepayers and property owners will face costs exceeding $1 billion to upgrade our aged wastewater, drinking water, and stormwater systems. And over the next three years, the Vermont drinking and clean water sectors will require $350M to address our immediate infrastructure and water quality challenges. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 represents a generational opportunity to address Vermont’s aging infrastructure and water quality needs.
Of the $1.052 billion in ARPA funding coming to Vermont, Governor Scott proposed allocating $170M to drinking water and clean water projects under Section III Water/Sewer Infrastructure (Governor’s Proposed Investment of American Recovery Plan Funds April 6, 2021). We support the Governor’s proposal to provide increased funding for water/sewer infrastructure. However, this amount is only designated to seven very limited areas of investment and notably excludes funding for aging water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure. The Governor’s proposal acknowledges that “Water infrastructure is the backbone of our lives and livelihoods,” but does not provide any funding to address aging infrastructure needs across the State.
Providing additional funds for water quality projects also offers additional benefits. Studies have shown that every dollar spent on water quality infrastructure returns $2.95 dollars to the economy. In effect, spending money on water quality is also an investment in the Vermont economy and job creation. In addition, modern wastewater, drinking water, and stormwater infrastructure supports the Vermont vision that embraces downtown areas redeveloped using smart growth strategies, and a working rural landscape. And by using once in a generation ARPA grant funding, Vermont can accomplish these goals without delay and without imposing an unaffordable burden on ratepayers.
Contact for additional information and questions
Liz Royer, Executive Director, Vermont Rural Water Association (802) 660-4988 x336 firstname.lastname@example.org
One of GMWEA's priorities is to make sure its members stay informed of policies that affect their professions -- and that policy-makers understand the people, infrastructure, science, and logistics that allow our water, wastewater, and storm water systems to function. GMWEA's Government Affairs Committee (GAC) -- 30 system operators, municipal administrators, scientists, engineers, and water quality non-profit heads -- monitor and discuss policy developments throughout the year.
GMWEA members and affiliates examine issues such as PFAS testing and compliance, COVID-19 preparedness, biosolids land application, lead and copper rules, Lake Champlain TMDL, pretreatment program development, and much more. Drawing on the collective expertise of our members and affiliates, we frequently author advisory letters to legislators and testify on policy issues at the Statehouse.
GMWEA's Government Affairs Committee meets with ANR administrators.