Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), was successful in securing $15 million for San Francisco Bay restoration efforts – a threefold increase from current funding levels. On another issue of concern to San Francisco and San Mateo counties, my amendment to clarify that communities pursuing a loan through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program should not be forced to restart their costly and lengthy application processes was included in H.R. 7608, the House-passed annual appropriations package, along with the San Francisco Bay restoration funding. The package now heads to the Senate for consideration.
“The San Francisco Bay is a national treasure and home to more than 100 endangered and threatened species. The increased funding will support projects for water quality improvement, wetland and estuary restoration, endangered species recovery, and adaptation to climate change. Without meaningful support from the federal government, the damage to the Bay will be irreversible by 2030. We owe it to current and future generations to ensure this doesn’t happen, and this $15 million for restoration will go a long way toward protecting this local gem,” Rep Speier said. “But we can’t stop here. We must also ensure that the dozens of communities that have applied in good faith for water infrastructure loans to fortify water systems and protect our environment aren’t left in the lurch. It would be a monumental waste of time and effort, particularly in light of many communities already struggling to redirect water resources due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and makes no financial or fundamental sense. The federal government must make it easier for cities and communities to protect their natural resources, not harder.”