EPA issues Clean Water, Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy

November 2010, Vol. 65 No. 11

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy with the goal of increasing the sustainability of water and wastewater infrastructure in the United States. Communities across the country are facing challenges in making costly upgrades and repairs to their aging water infrastructure, which include sewer systems and treatment facilities. The new policy is part of EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's priority to protect America's waters.

The policy emphasizes the need to build on existing efforts to promote sustainable water infrastructure. It also focuses on working with states and water systems to employ comprehensive planning processes that result in projects that are cost effective over their life cycle, resource efficient, and consistent with community sustainability goals. The policy encourages effective utility management practices to build and maintain the level of technical, financial, and managerial capacity necessary to ensure long-term sustainability.

The policy represents a collaborative effort between EPA and its federal, state and local partners. Working with these partners, EPA will develop guidance procedures, provide technical assistance and target federal, state and other relevant federal financial assistance in support of increasing the sustainability of America's water infrastructure.