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McCarthy: Fighting for Critical Infrastructure in our Small and Rural Communities

Jan 5, 2010
Press Release

Ridgecrest, CA – Today, Congressman McCarthy unveiled the Small and Rural Communities Wastewater Infrastructure Act (H.R. 4352) to help address the challenges our small and rural communities are facing.  This legislation is designed to help ensure small and rural communities have access to financial resources for critical infrastructure projects.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) issued the following statement:

"These common-sense reforms are designed to help ensure our small and rural communities have the critical infrastructure needed to grow and prosper. I disagree with those in Washington who believe we should only focus on large cities to help grow our way out of our economic challenges. I believe we also need to help ensure America’s hardworking small and rural towns have the resources they need to continue to support our nation’s jobs and families. Our small towns are growing our nation’s crops, producing our nation’s energy, providing for our nation’s defense, and creating new jobs.”

Mr. Michael Bevins, California City Public Works Director, issued the following statement:

"The Small and Rural Communities Wastewater Infrastructure Act deals head on with the single largest impediment to rural America's compliance problem with EPA wastewater rules.  For decades our communities have been unable to fund the CEQA/NEPA and administrative expenses inherent in revolving fund loan applications.  In the past, it took money to get money.  This amendment to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act will provide the seed funding necessary to be able to apply for revolving loan funds reserved for rural scale projects.  With this kind of common sense approach, small and rural systems will soon be able to help themselves overcome their inherent financial challenges to environmental compliance.  Thank you Congressman McCarthy.”

Mr. Dennis Speer, Ridgecrest Public Works Director, issued the following statement:

“The Small and Rural Wastewater Infrastructure Act (HR 4352) is an important piece of legislation that will enable smaller cities to access CWSRF funds which would otherwise be unavailable to them. The bill specifically provides for distribution of funds in a way that directly benefits cities with populations under 50,000. It, also, identifies funding for preconstruction activities which, previously, did not qualify for funding. Both of these provisions not only will benefit all smaller cities and communities, but, specifically will benefit the City of Ridgecrest in the development of its new Wastewater Treatment Facility.  The City of Ridgecrest extends its thanks and appreciation to Congressman McCarthy for his continued support and commitment to the Cities throughout Kern County and especially our community.”

Mr. Dennis LaMoreaux, P.E., Rosamond Community Services District Assistant General Manager and District Engineer, issued the following statement:

“This is a great approach that will be instrumental in assisting RCSD with its water, sewer, and recycled water improvements.”

Mr. Craig Jones, Taft Public Works Director, issued the following statement:

“Taft like other small and rural communities is facing a multimillion dollar plant project which will be necessary to comply with State regulations, it is exciting to see Legislation that is aimed at cities with small populations that would otherwise have to rely on its rate payers to fund a project of this size. I would like to thank Kevin McCarthy and his staff for all of the hard work that went into this legislation.”

Mr. Jon Curry, Tehachapi Utility Manager, issued the following statement:

“The City of Tehachapi is excited to hear about Congressman McCarthy’s proposed legislation.  As a small rural community, the cost to upgrade and construct necessary infrastructure can be overwhelming.  This legislation will go a long way to assisting communities like Tehachapi in providing the quality of life that all Americans deserve.”

• Under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), the EPA provides grants or "seed money" to all 50 states plus Puerto Rico to capitalize state loan funds.  The states, in turn, make loans to communities, individuals, and others for high-priority water-quality activities. As money is paid back into the revolving fund, new loans are made to other recipients that need help in maintaining the quality of their water. (Source:  EPA)
• CWSRF loans are primarily used for wastewater treatment projects.
• The State of California maintains a list if CWSRF eligible projects in the state.  There are more than 1,500 projects on the list, with over 390 projects located in the Central Valley of which 66% are designed to serve communities of 50,000 or fewer individuals.  (Source:  California State Water Resources Control Board)