The National League of Cities (NLC) told Congress that the nation's water infrastructure is aging and that cities face a backlog of projects and funding challenges that were only made worse by the recent economic downturn.
Gaithersburg, MD city councilman Michael Sesma, testifying on the NLC's behalf before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Environment and Economy, asked them to "lead and serve the country by addressing the underlying issue of aging infrastructure and unmet infrastructure needs. This effort will strengthen the intergovernmental partnership by enabling our cities and towns, our states, and country to meet the challenges and opportunities of leading the world into the next century."
Sesma highlighted key areas where the federal-state-local partnership has led to improved environmental protection and more vibrant communities. Specifically:
- Federalism consultation - Consulting with cities earlier and more frequently on projects reduces the burden on local governments in both cost and regulatory requirements.
- Regulatory review - Looking at old and outdated regulations that add to the cost and paperwork burdens of cities.
- Integrated planning - Allowing local governments to identify opportunities to achieve the requirements of the Clean Water Act in an affordable manner.