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WASHINGTON — To mark the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) hosted a panel discussion on May 31 about the urgent need for regulatory reform as aggressive unfunded water mandates are guided by outdated regulatory approaches and collide with the ability of cities and their ratepayers to pay for them.
During the discussion, mayors called on Congress to either amend CWA or ask EPA to change the way it implements the act to meet a more current, cost-efficient and smart approach.
"Protecting our nation''s water resources has always been a priority and success for mayors, but cities are almost single-handedly shouldering the monumental financial burden placed by unfunded water mandates, as they are already struggling with increased long-term debt and shrinking municipal funds," said Tom Cochran, USCM CEO and executive director. "Serious changes must be made to decrease the excessive costs being passed down to taxpayers through enormous rate hikes, hitting our citizens where it hurts the most."