Continuing its stalwart advocacy on Capitol Hill on behalf of workers and businesses in the water/wastewater/plumbing industry and the health and safety of the millions of Americans they protect, IAPMO has again written to leaders in both houses of Congress with a list of recommendations a future stimulus bill should include.
The letter from IAPMO CEO GP Russ Chaney details specific measures that would enable the relief bill to ensure vulnerable populations have access to life-saving water and sanitation services, including providing assistance to associations and professional trade organizations that play an important role in determining how our nation’s infrastructure comes together. A copy of the letter may be read at: https://www.iapmo.org/media/23669/covid-19_congress_letter_501c6.pdf
“Together, these imperative policy solutions will provide critical assistance to families and communities in addressing the drinking water challenges they face,” Chaney wrote. “They will also benefit those in the plumbing industry who are on the front line in making sure these essential services stay operational.”
Among the measures Chaney recommends are:
- Provide $25 billion in emergency funding for associations and professional trade associations [501(c)(6)s] that do not qualify for federal assistance under the recent stimulus packages. Millions of Americans rely upon these professional societies for their workforce training, business support, and the safety standards of medical, water and other life-saving products.
- Provide $1.5 billion in grants to states, territories and Native American tribes to ensure financial assistance to low-income and other adversely affected consumers struggling to pay for drinking water and wastewater expenses.
- Require states and utilities receiving funds through stimulus legislation to adopt or maintain in force policies to prevent the shutoff of electricity, home heating and cooling, and drinking and wastewater services to residential customers during the public health emergency.
Should Congress include infrastructure issues in future stimulus legislation, Chaney recommends the following additional measures:
- Formally establish within the Clean Water Act a requirement that states utilize a minimum 15 percent of their Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) capitalization grants to invest in projects that increase energy and water efficiency.
- Direct utilities to study, evaluate, and to the extent practicable implement water- and energy-efficient technologies.
- Extend and increase funding for programs to protect Americans’ drinking water by investing $22.9 billion over five years in the SRF, the Indian Reservation Drinking Water Program, School and Child Care Program Lead Testing grants, and other water-related grants to states.
The White House and the Department of Homeland Security have identified certain plumbing and mechanical industry professionals as indispensable in their Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response. IAPMO believes the associations and organizations that support these professionals are equally essential.
For more information on IAPMO and its proactive initiatives in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, direct your web browser to https://www.iapmo.org.