Graves Pushes for Rural Funding, Extended EPA Permit Lengths

November 06, 2019

Today, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure passed the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act (H.R. 1497), with an amendment strongly supported by Ranking Member Sam Graves (MO-06) that would help small, rural communities comply with EPA regulations.
“Many communities across my district are struggling to exist due to strict, costly EPA regulations. Rural and small communities in North Missouri face tight budgets, regulatory hurdles, and difficult choices when it comes to balancing their many needs with limited available resources. The Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act approved today will help those communities improve their wastewater infrastructure by ensuring more federal infrastructure resources are dedicated specifically for their use, while giving them much more flexibility in their efforts to comply with federal permitting,” said Rep Graves.
Graves worked to ensure the amendment helps address the substantial and growing wastewater infrastructure needs that North Missouri communities are facing due to the Clean Water Act.
In particular, the measure ensures that the needs of small and rural communities are better addressed through funding set-asides in programs for sewer overflow and storm water management projects, watershed and resiliency projects, and alternative water source projects.
One of the key pieces Graves has worked towards for years and was included in today’s approved legislation is extended EPA permit terms – adding up to another 5 years before requiring a new EPA permit. The current permit length is 5 years. The measure cuts through needless red tape to give communities more flexibility to take on complex wastewater infrastructure projects and enable them to pay off more of their initial project loan before seeking another permit.
The measure also provides for more EPA technical and planning assistance to rural and small communities working to comply with federal requirements.