Quality CSO Plans
Rates could fund lead pipe replacement in critical states: Laws in states with the most lead service lines support the practice
In Rates could fund lead pipe replacement in critical states, Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School and Environmental Defense Fund reviewed state laws and policies in 13 states with the most lead service lines (LSLs), and found no explicit barriers to using rate funds to replace the lines on private property. These states have an estimated 4.2 million LSLs, more than two-thirds of the nation’s total. In these states, publicly-owned utilities can act pursuant to existing state legislation by determining that the practice serves a public purpose—protecting public health. Investor-owned utilities can do the same, but typically need approval of the state’s utility commission. While we have not reviewed the remaining states, we anticipate that the state laws and policies are similar to the ones we evaluated.
State Policymakers’ Toolkit
To spotlight the important role that state governments can play in advancing sustainable water management, US Water Alliance and the Council of State Governments developed this State Policymaker’s Toolkit as a resource for elected officials and staff in the executive and legislative branches of state government. For each of the Seven Big Ideas (below), they briefly summarize the key issues and then provide real world examples of how states are forging progress. The promising examples are not meant to be prescriptive, but rather serve as a starting place for the generation of potential solutions that are specific to individual state contexts. For research purposes, these examples include endnote citations back to the legislative or regulatory language that was passed and/or implemented.
Seven Big Ideas:
- Advance regional collaboration on water management
- Accelerate agriculture-utility partnerships to improve water quality
- Sustain adequate funding for water infrastructure
- Blend public and private expertise and investment to address water infrastructure needs
- Redefine affordability for the 21st century
- Reduce lead risks, and embrace the mission of protecting public health
- Accelerate technology adoption to build efficiency and improve water service
Fact Sheet for Press Kits: New Jersey Water Infrastructure
To support media coverage of New Jersey’s water infrastructure issues, this fact sheet for press kits offers background information on water infrastructure in the state. It is a product of the Jersey Water Works Education and Outreach Committee whose goal is to promote well-informed decision makers, community partners, residents and ratepayers and their active participation and influence in the planning and management of their water infrastructure.
Results from 2019 Value of Water Index: American Support for Investments in Water Infrastructure
Results from 2019 Value of Water Index: American Support for Investments in Water Infrastructure shows massive bipartisan support for investing in water infrastructure. One-pager with results here.
Over the past four years, the Value of Water Campaign has polled American voters to better understand their opinions about the state of our nation’s water infrastructure and what they view as priorities for action and potential solutions. The fourth annual national poll of over 1,000 American voters, was conducted by the bipartisan research team of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz, and Associates (D) and New Bridge Strategy (R).
- Americans support rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure more than any other issue facing the current administration, including building a border wall, repealing or replacing Obamacare, providing permanent status for Dreamers, or increasing military defense spending. Over three-fourths of voters (79 percent) say rebuilding America’s infrastructure is extremely or very important.
- More than two-thirds of Americans (68 percent) support investment in water infrastructure at the national, state, and local levels — even when told that investment carries a $1.2 trillion price tag. Also, two-thirds of voters support a proactive program of water infrastructure upgrades, rather than fixing problems as they arise (67 percent).
- Four in five (80 percent) American voters say what they pay for water service is affordable, and more than three in five voters would be willing to pay a modest increase in local water rates to fund improved service.
- No other issue has nearly as much broad and bipartisan support. Support for investing in water infrastructure cuts across age, gender, party, geography, and ideology. More than three in four Democrats and Republicans agree rebuilding America’s infrastructure should be a top priority for the President and Congress this year.
- Water quality concerns emphasizes need for investment and innovation. Seventy-four percent of Americans — living in both urban and rural areas — are concerned about contaminants affecting their water quality. More than five in eight Americans support local water agencies increasing the use of potable recycled water in their community.
Fact Sheet: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
This fact sheet, Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), provides an introduction to PFAS chemicals, their uses, potential risks, major sources in the environment, occurrence in New Jersey’s public water systems, regulatory developments, remediation information, and links to additional resources. It was published in March 2019.
To educate stakeholders on problems and solutions and to empower stakeholders in the planning and management of their water infrastructure, Louis Berger, a member of Jersey Water Works, has developed this fact sheet on per- and polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS), contaminants of emerging concern. The Jersey Water Works Education and Outreach committee and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) also played important roles in the development of this resource.