This week, ASCE 2019 President Robin A. Kemper, P.E., LEED AP, F.SEI, F.ASCE testified at a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies hearing regarding Fiscal Year 2020 funding. President Kemper testified on the importance of strategic, robust, and sustained investments that must be made quickly through long-term, reliable federal funding, as well as through the utilization of financing mechanisms, if we hope to close the nation’s $2 trillion and growing funding gap and restore America’s world-class infrastructure.
In her testimony, President Kemper urged the Subcommittee to:
- renew the federal government’s commitment to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure by tripling the amount of annual appropriations to the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs; providing $1 million for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Drinking Water and Clean Watersheds Needs Surveys; fully funding the Water Infrastructure Finance & Innovation Act (WIFIA) program at no less than the FY19 enacted level of $68 million; and fully funding the Securing Required Funding for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF WIN) Act program at its $5 million authorization in FY20.
- provide at least $2 billion in FY20 to address the National Park Service’s $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog; and
- fully fund the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Earthquake Hazards Reduction (NEHRP) program at $75 million and the agency’s streamgaging program at $100.5 million in FY20.
The projects funded by these programs have already proven to be successful; providing more funding to existing programs rather than creating new programs will reduce overhead costs and startup time while still allowing for significant and noticeable improvements across our nation’s infrastructure systems.
ASCE looks forward to continuing to work with the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies – and all of Congress – to find ways to improve America’s infrastructure.