Ahead of Congress’s final consideration of the 2020 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), Rep. Greg Stanton hosted a roundtable with local leaders and other stakeholders to discuss the bill’s impact in Arizona communities. The bill unanimously passed the House of Representatives last week and included several provisions to benefit Arizona that were championed by Stanton.
WRDA will invest in critical Arizona infrastructure through projects overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The final package included $150 million for a new Arizona-centered environmental infrastructure program, a provision based on Stanton’s Environmental Infrastructure Assistance Act.
“Our small rural and tribal communities across Arizona often lack the significant financial resources in their budgets to make much needed repairs or replace their aging infrastructure,” Stanton said during the virtual roundtable. “My provision in WRDA prioritizes our rural areas by providing a new federal resource for our cities, counties, tribes and rural water districts across Arizona to tap to address their critical water infrastructure needs.”
The roundtable included Maricopa Mayor Christian Price; Buckeye Councilmember Clay Goodman; city officials from Prescott, Tolleson and Flagstaff; Colonel Julie Balten, commander of the Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and senior members of the Corps; and representatives from the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Arizona Water Association, Rural Water Association of Arizona and Inter Tribal Association of Arizona.
“I would like to personally thank Congressman Stanton for his leadership on issues affecting the state of Arizona and, in particular, his focus on transportation and infrastructure issues,” said City of Maricopa Mayor Christian Price. “Because of his leadership on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and his ability to secure a new $150 million environmental infrastructure provision in WRDA, Arizona can now qualify for these important projects. This is critical to fast-growing communities such as Maricopa where a flood plain divides our City in two as we search for creative solutions to eliminate the catastrophic and costly flooding while adding environmental and recreational amenities to our City that will attract more residents.”
“As Prescott grows, we’ve made maintaining our water and infrastructure a priority,” said Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli. “This bill will help fund those necessary projects to improve our water systems, ensuring the city can keep up with demand and preserve our natural resources for years to come.”
“The city of Tolleson is profoundly grateful for Congressman Stanton's championship for Arizona’s inclusion in the Water Resources Development Act,” said Tolleson City Manager Reyes Medrano. “This legislation will significantly augment Tolleson's ability to continue to serve communities well beyond its municipal boundaries by taking full advantage of the economies of scale that reside in West Valley cities and towns. Congressman Stanton's efforts will enable the provision of affordable water services for all Arizonans.”
“Providing efficient delivery of services—especially water and wastewater management—is one of the most important functions of local governments,” said Tom Belshe, Executive Director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. “But too often, cities and towns don’t have the room in their budgets to make much needed repairs to their aging water infrastructure. Federal investment is a necessity for our communities to provide the best possible customer service to their residents, and the League is grateful to Congressman Stanton for his strong leadership on this bill.”
“The Inter Tribal Association of Arizona (ITAA) wholeheartedly supports Congressman Greg Stanton in his effort to address water-related environmental infrastructure challenges that exist on tribal lands in Arizona through the Environmental Infrastructure Assistance Act,” says Maria Dadgar, Executive Director of the Inter Tribal Association of Arizona. “The pandemic has brought focus to the longstanding issue of inadequate drinking water and wastewater systems on tribal lands and the long-term investments this legislation supports will be key to addressing these challenges.”
“Water and wastewater infrastructure is essential to keep our waterways clean and our communities healthy. During these trying times when it is critical to ensure proper treatment both in our water and wastewater this is a much-needed tool for our communities who are looking for help. Thank you for all your hard work and considerations,” said Jason Joynes, Executive Director of the Rural Water Association of Arizona.