Florida lawmakers continue to tackle environment issues in a bipartisan manner. The most recent development is a collaboration between Florida Rep. Michael Waltz (R) and Maryland Rep. Anthony Brown (D). Both lawmakers introduced the Clean Water Allotment Modernization Act of 2021 this week, and the bill has also received support in the Senate with Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) and New Jersey Senator Mark Kelly (D)introducing a companion legislation in the Senate.
In a statement, Rep. Waltz commented that “Florida currently receives one of the smallest clean water allocations from the EPA despite having some of the most critical water quality needs in the country,” adding that “we are being shortchanged by this outdated formula – and look at the impact on a devastated Indian River Lagoon, dying manatees and aquatic life, Red Tides and freshwater algal blooms, and regressing wetland ecosystems across Florida.”
The bill “would enact long-overdue reforms to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) formula, which determines the amount of federal funding each state receives for water quality projects, including wastewater systems (septic-to-sewer conversions), stormwater management, nonpoint source, water reuse, and estuary projects.”
In reference to the current formula, it has not been updated since 1987.
Echoing in Waltz’ remarks, Rep. Brown commented that “it’s time to bring our water infrastructure into the 21st Century,” detailing that “modernizing this critical program will reduce pollution and protect important environmental resources like Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay.”
Brown praised the legislation, calling it “a common-sense change that’s long overdue.”
Should lawmakers vote in favor of the bill, it would provide the state of Florida with “billions of dollars in new clean water infrastructure over the next decade.”
“By fixing this formula, we can ensure Florida gets the federal funding necessary for wastewater systems, stormwater management, and estuaries like Indian River Lagoon,” said Waltz.