News Briefs: NACWA Members Testify Before Senate on EPA Water Funding Tool

Also in this week's sewer and water news, a parked semi truck with a punctured diesel tank leaks fuel into Madison, Wisconsin's sewer

Members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee heard testimony from public clean water utility members of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies during the committee’s hearing, “Oversight of the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund Formula.”

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund is the primary federal investment program for local clean water investment, offering low-interest loans to public utilities for water quality infrastructure projects. 

“I cannot overstate how much of a lifeline the CWSRF has been, and still is, for clean water utilities across this country,” testified Tom Sigmund, executive director of NEW Water in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and NACWA’s vice president. “Through the State of Wisconsin’s Clean Water Fund Program, clean water utilities have benefited from over $5.3 billion worth of financial assistance since State Fiscal Year 1991.”

The hearing focused on examining potential changes to the formula that determines how federal appropriations for the CWSRF are allocated among individual state funds. The CWSRF has been adapted to meet changing needs since it was created, but the allocation formula does not have a clear history and has been the subject of Congressional oversight in recent years. NACWA’s witnesses emphasized that as new clean water challenges emerge and infrastructure ages, growing the pot of federal resources available to help communities invest is key.

Maryland Takes Control of Troubled WWTP in Baltimore County

Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles has ordered that the Maryland Environmental Service take control of the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Baltimore County after it experienced compliance issues.

“The department determined that the decline in the proper maintenance and operation of the plant risks catastrophic failures at the plant that may result in environmental harm as well as adverse public health … effects,” Grumbles said in the order, according to UPI News.

The Maryland Environmental Service also has been directed to submit a report by June 6 that assesses the plant’s operation, maintenance, staffing and equipment issues.

Semi Truck Leaks Large Amount of Diesel Into Madison Sewer

A semi truck with a punctured diesel tank recently leaked fuel into the sewer system in Madison, Wisconsin.

The truck had been parked on the street near a sewer drain, and the truck’s driver attempted to block the fuel from getting into the drain by using seat cushions. Ultimately, 150 to 170 gallons of fuel leaked into the sewer by the time first responders arrived on scene, according to WKOW News.


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