On April 29, representatives from THE national Association of Counties (NACo), National League of Cities (NLC), U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) convened to discuss Clean Water Act (CWA) water affordability issues.  This dialogue will play a key role in determining how local governments invest in water and wastewater infrastructure.

This meeting stems from EPA’s January 2013 memo on Assessing Financial Capability for Municipal CWA Requirements.  In the memo, EPA directed its regional offices to consider local finan-cial capacity when developing compliance schedules in order to meet Clean Water Act (CWA) responsibilities.

The meeting focused on expanded use of benchmark indicators of household, community and utility affordability such as increasing arrearages, late payments, discon-nection notices, service termina-tions and uncollectable accounts and how to facilitate consistent policy implementation at the regional offices.

Future meetings will focus on flexibilities in the statute to prioritize investments; rate structures; and financing tools.

For more information, contact Julie Ufner at jufner@naco.org