The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA, will testify on behalf of municipal clean water agencies in support of legislation to reauthorize the clean water state revolving fund (SRF) at a hearing Jan. 19 before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. At the hearing, Kurt Soderberg, executive director of the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, in Duluth, Minn., a NACWA member agency, will discuss the importance of a federal recommitment to clean water.

The SRF was first authorized in 1987 to replace the construction grants program with a mechanism to provide low-interest loans to municipalities to build wastewater treatment plants. Since 1988 when Congress first funded the SRF, the program has paid out more than $47 billion to states and localities to address their clean water needs.Funding for this program has dwindled from $1.35 billion in 2004 to $688 million in 2007.

“Without a federal recommitment to clean water, the costs of maintaining existing and aging infrastructure, further stressed by ever increasing population and industrial demands, as well as new and costly Clean Water Act requirements, the nation risks losing the water quality gains made over the past three decades,” Ken Kirk, NACWA’s executive director, said in a prepared statement.