President Signs Integrated Planning Legislation
On January 14th, President Trump signed H.R. 7279, the "Water Infrastructure Improvement Act," into law. The bipartisan bill codifies the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Integrated Planning framework.
Released in 2012, the framework provides communities greater flexibility in meeting their Clean Water Act (CWA) obligations. Under the framework, communities will be able to better prioritize investments in order to achieve CWA compliance.
In addition to integrated planning, the legislation includes language that promotes the use of green infrastructure by communities in meeting their CWA obligations. As communities replace and refurbish aging water infrastructure, the use of green infrastructure has proven to be both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
Finally, the bill establishes an office of Municipal Ombudsman within EPA, charged with providing technical assistance to communities working to comply with the CWA. The Ombudsman will also ensure that EPA policies are being properly implemented at the local level.
APWA is grateful for the work of members of House and Senate members to pass this legislation; particularly Representatives Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), and Bob Latta (R-OH) from the House, and Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) from the Senate.