No More Sewer Lines to Nowhere — EPA Adopts Fix-it-First Policy


Many of our older cities have leaking and broken water pipes that leak and sometimes dump raw sewage into our streams and rivers posing threats to public health and limiting livability. Despite massive funding shortfalls, until now, federal funding could be used to subsidize sprawl by sending water and sewer lines to new areas before fixing existing problems.

Now, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new policy on water infrastructure funding strikes the right balance between environmental protection and economic development by first targeting funds to improve existing infrastructure where the vast majority of the population live today. As EPA’s deputy assistant administrator of the Office of Water, Nancy Stoner, explained in the Washington Post:

“We’re interested in supporting the infrastructure where people already live. It’s a focus on making infrastructure sustainable and reviving those communities, reviving cities as attractive places.”

American Rivers supports this smart, new fix-it-first policy. Combined with continued dedicated funding for green infrastructure and water efficiency for communities nationwide, we’re moving toward cleaner water and more vibrant communities.