The Merrimack River: A treasure worth protecting – By Lori Trahan
Congresswoman Lori Trahan’s Stop Sewage Overflow Act — part of a major infrastructure bill recently passed by the House of Representatives — underscores the importance of water infrastructure.
Our Stop Sewage Overflow Act was designed in close consultation with state and local officials from across the Merrimack Valley who I met with at the Lowell wastewater treatment facility. The bill increased funding for the EPA’s CSO grant program and extended its period of authorization.
Perhaps most notably, the bill incentivized the federal government to invest in wastewater infrastructure projects in financially distressed communities. Under our bill, for every $1 a community contributes, the government must contribute at least $3.
The core elements of our bill were incorporated into The Moving Forward Act, major infrastructure legislation, which passed the U.S. House on July 1st. The CSO grant program will be authorized to provide $400 million annually for the next five years; and the provision to incentivize the federal government to make this much needed investment in our communities was also included. The bill is now pending before the U.S. Senate, which should pass our infrastructure bill for many reasons – not the least of which is the fact that cities like Lowell deserve the support of the federal government when it comes to cleaning up our rivers.
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