WASHINGTON—A bill introduced by Rep. Greg Stanton advanced through the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today with unanimous support. The bill, H.R. 3521, would help grow an in-demand sector of Arizona’s workforce: wastewater management workers.

“Arizona’s economy relies on effective and well-managed wastewater treatment and stormwater management programs,” said Stanton, a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “We need more trained workers to properly operate our wastewater systems, and to protect public health and our environment.”

Stanton introduced the bill in June.  It would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to report to Congress on the workforce needs for publicly owned treatment works, including the number of future positions and technical skills needed. Additionally, it would allow states to reserve up to one percent of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) dollars it receives each year from the federal government to be used for workforce development, training and retraining activities.

The bill earned the support of the Water Environment Federation. 

“WEF thanks Rep. Stanton for his leadership in the House to help wastewater and stormwater utilities with current and future workforce development needs,” said Executive Director Walt Marlowe. “His provision in H.R. 1497 will provide a significant source of new funding to recruit, train, and retain the next generation of water professionals.”

The bill was included in the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2019, which would authorize $14 billion over the next five years for the Clean Water SRF program, the primary source of federal funding for wastewater infrastructure. It will next move to the House floor for a full vote.