NACWA Active in Media Coverage of Water Issues

(August 12, 2020) – NACWA has remained active in its media outreach over the summer months, particularly on the topic of water utility shutoff moratoriums related to COVID-19 and NACWA’s repeated insistence that the federal government must provide financial relief to public utilities to help address pandemic concerns. NACWA has also been quoted on the upcoming WRDA package negotiations, the WIFIA controversy in the House, and more. Below you can find a sampling of NACWA’s media presence from late-June through the present.

On August 12, Bloomberg featured a lengthy roundup of environmental justice issues that may be addressed during the fall campaign season. Included among them, under the subhead, “Keeping Up The Pressure on Clean Water,” was a summary of NACWA’s letter to Congress outlining the Association’s clean water priorities for the upcoming WRDA package negotiations. NACWA CEO Adam Krantz was quoted saying: “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only reinforced the vital importance that water and wastewater infrastructure play in our communities to help mitigate the spread of the disease.”

On August 11, The Bond Buyer, the premiere news outlet covering government-issued bonds and related issues, featured an in-depth summary of NACWA’s WRDA letter to congressional leadership. It featured this excerpt from the letter: “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is having major economic ramifications on publicly owned treatment works and public clean water utilities. NACWA estimates that the financial impacts to the clean water sector will reach $16.8 billion on an annual basis.”

On August 10, Politico featured a brief summary of House Democrats’ current coronavirus rescue plan, including the increasingly prominent issue of utility shutoff moratoriums. NACWA’s letter to congressional leadership the previous week asking for at least $4 billion in federal funds to cover shutoff moratoriums was featured.

On August 5, InsideEPA, a regulatory and industry trade publication that exclusively covers environmental news and the EPA, featured a lengthy write-up of NACWA’s August 3rd letter to Congress regarding utility shutoff moratoriums, and highlighted NACWA’s $4 billion ask. NACWA CEO Adam Krantz was quoted at length: “We encourage incentives to prevent shutoffs but cannot support any national moratorium that is not directly tied to the local receipt of federal funding to cover the losses and directly linked to the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Also on August 5, Bloomberg Government, Bloomberg News’s vertical exclusively covering Washington, D.C. policy news, included a write-up on NACWA’s letter to congressional leadership, noting that “there are similar programs for energy and food — it is time for clean and safe water to have equivalent federal support.” On August 4, Politico Influence, Politico’s lobbying-focused newsletter, also featured  a similar story.

On July 28, Politico launched a sustainability newsletter, featuring deep dives into environmental policy discussions, and their debut issue centered around the increasing amount of attention paid to water policy. As a result of a lengthy discussion between NACWA leadership and Politico reporters, Nathan Gardner-Andrews, NACWA’s General Counsel and Chief Advocacy Officer, was featured highlighting the realities of revenue shortfalls as a result of the pandemic.

On July 23, Bloomberg covered Senate initiatives to halt utility shutoffs during and after the pandemic. NACWA’s comments on the matter were featured prominently and highlighted the Association’s ask for $4 billion to cover voluntary shutoff moratoriums and $12.5 billion to cover revenue losses from commercial and industrial usage.

On July 16, Congressional Quarterly covered the political sparring over funding the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) in the House’s FY 2021 federal budget, and featured NACWA’s Nathan Gardner-Andrews’s comment that WIFIA, “has gotten caught up in an unnecessary political snit.”

On June 29, Roll Call featured a lengthy article on the negotiations between House Democrats and Republicans over increasing funding to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. NACWA’s Managing Director of Government Affairs, Kristina Surfus, was quoted as saying, “The federal share of clean water infrastructure investment is below 5 percent nationwide, and these investments would go a long way to helping local communities provide clean water.”

If your utility has been featured in the news and you would like to share, or if you have questions related to NACWA’s media outreach, please contact David Zielonka, NACWA’s Manager of Media and Communications.