Sen. Cardin Visits WSSC
Supports Legislation to Help Improve Nation’s Water Infrastructure
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Laurel – August 13, 2013: U.S. Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland today toured the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s (WSSC’s) Patuxent Water Filtration Plant. Cardin, Chairman of the Senate Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, met with WSSC General Manager/CEO Jerry N. Johnson and was briefed on WSSC’s aggressive plans to meet challenges in upgrading the water and sewer infrastructure and on its success in alternative energy programs.
After touring the plant, Senator Cardin talked about the need to help Maryland communities pay for the cost of making those improvements.
Senator Cardin said, “Our aging water infrastructure system represents a clear and present danger to public health, as well as our economic security and therefore our national security. The federal government cannot meet this need alone, but we must take a proactive approach, making strategic investments in innovative projects designed to meet the current and future needs of our water systems.”
Johnson thanked Senator Cardin for his continuing advocacy on behalf of the water industry. “We very much appreciate your hard work to keep renewal of our aging underground pipes and other assets in the national conversation about rebuilding America’s infrastructure. As we say, we are out of sight and out of mind,” said Johnson. "We face many of the same issues other utilities around the country face; aging water and sewer systems, regulatory mandates to ensure water quality and protect the environment; and ever-changing technology that improves every aspect of what we do. But all of this costs more and that affects our customers."
Senator Cardin addressed some solutions to the cost issue by discussing two federal bills that would help finance some water infrastructure costs. The Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Act would allow local communities to compete for matching grants. Cardin says he also supports reauthorization of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) to match current water infrastructure needs and federal resources.
Investing in water infrastructure is also an investment in jobs and the economy. According to the National Association of Utility Contractors, one billion dollars of investment can create more than 26,000 jobs.
Senator Cardin also commended WSSC for its work and suggested other utilities could benefit from learning more about what WSSC is doing in water, wastewater and energy. WSSC receives approximately 28 percent of its energy needs from wind power, is constructing solar arrays at two wastewater treatment plants and purchases power at off-peak hours to control costs.
For 100 years, WSSC has proudly served the citizens of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties – providing drinking water that has always met strict Safe Drinking Water Act standards and protecting the environment through vital water resource recovery services. Our vision is to be THE world-class water utility, where excellent products and services are always on tap.