Clean Water Fund
CONNECTICUT NEEDS FUNDS FOR CLEAN WATER
Every year over 2 billion gallons of raw sewage is dumped into Long Island Sound and its tributaries, closing beaches and shellfish beds. And every year, hundreds of acres of Long Island Sound are plagued by a low oxygen dead zone, threatening the health of wildlife. If we want to safeguard the health of residents and Long Island Sound and say goodbye to beaches that are closed in the summer, we must invest in clean water infrastructure.
Connecticut took a big step in 2008 when it put the Clean Water Fund—the state’s primary mechanism for funding clean water projects—back on track. It was a bold move on the part of our elected officials, but consistent yearly investments are required if we want to provide a healthy Sound legacy.
Investing in Connecticut’s clean water infrastructure is a win-win proposition. Not only is it critical for vibrant waters and healthy fisheries, these investments create thousands of high quality jobs here in Connecticut. Rebuilding and enhancing wastewater treatment facilities are among the state’s most productive job creation investments. Reinvestment in the CT’s Clean Water Fund from 2008-2012 is estimated to have created or retained 25,200 jobs. An additional 6,979 jobs will be added through the 2013 authorizations.
For 2012 to 2013, Connecticut committed to providing over $659 million in municipal clean water infrastructure grants and loans. Projects funded with this investment, like the Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven combined sewer separation projects and the Mattabassett, Norwich and Hartford denitrification upgrades, help ensure Long Island Sound provides healthy waters for citizens and wildlife alike.
WHAT DO THE FUNDS ACCOMPLISH?
There are many benefits of investing in the Clean Water Fund, including:
- Jobs: The 2012 and 2013 funding levels will create 13,839 jobs and generate thousands more through related economic activity.
- Taxpayers: The Clean Water Fund cushions financial impact on municipalities and sewer users.
- Economy: Long Island Sound already contributes $9.5 billion each year to our region’s economy. Better water quality, created through the Clean Water Fund, will bolster commercial and recreational boating, fishing and tourism, increasing the economic benefit to the region.
- Environment: The Clean Water Fund will help stop millions of gallons of raw sewage from being dumped in our rivers, streams, and Long Island Sound, helping to restore the Sound’s dead zone and making our waters safer.
- Quality of Life: The Clean Water Fund makes Connecticut a better place to live and do business by providing clean water and open beaches to citizens, maintaining real estate values along our coast, and protecting the high-quality natural resources that help businesses attract new, young workers in our state.
WHAT WE DO
For years, funding for clean water initiatives was put on hold in Connecticut, creating a backlog of critical projects and worsening water quality. To remedy that, we joined with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities to develop the Clean Water Investment Coalition (CWIC).
The CWIC, a collection of municipal, engineer, environmental, construction, and maritime industry groups, formed in 2006 to highlight the state-wide impact that lagging investments in Connecticut’s Clean Water Fund had on job growth, businesses, municipal regulatory compliance, and environmental protections.
Through summits, concentrated press, and wide-spread advocacy and outreach, the members of CWIC have highlighted the need to upgrade aging waste-water infrastructure and supported our state leaders who, in 2008, took the giant step towards re-investing in local jobs, a thriving traditional fishing industry, and healthy beach water quality. Because of their efforts, record levels of investment have been made, projects are moving forward, and water quality is being improved.
If you are interested in joining the Clean Water Investment Coalition, contact Leah Schmalz at 203-787-0646.