Water Leaders Converge On Capitol Hill to Discuss Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Funding, PFAS

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Approximately 140 delegates from the American Water Works Association (AWWA) recently met with members of U.S. Congress to advocate for smart water policy and legislation during the 2022 Water Matters! Fly-In.

After two years of virtual meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings returned to a mostly in-person format on Capitol Hill. AWWA delegates from 37 states scheduled face-to-face meetings and delegates from 10 states gathered virtually.

Among the topics discussed were ways to improve the water sector’s cybersecurity, infrastructure funding and the inclusion of a water utility exemption from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) liability in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund.

“The Water Matters! Fly-In has grown to be one of AWWA’s premier events,” says John Donahue, Water Utility Committee legislative chair and government affairs director with North Park Public Water District in Illinois. He has attended the event since 2002.

“Our members of Congress truly appreciate connecting personally with utility representatives from their districts and hearing first-hand how federal legislation may impact them,” he says. “Our elected officials have come to know who we are and respect us as the authoritative voice for the U.S. water sector. It is remarkable how these discussions for or against a particular issue can impact outcomes.”

In conjunction with the event, AWWA and other partners in the water sector participated in Water Week April 24-30, when a cross-section of U.S. water professionals convened in Washington, D.C., to advocate for safe, reliable and affordable water.

“AWWA, through its members and the WUC (Water Utility Council), ensures that the water sector’s knowledge and expertise is included throughout the process of determining water policy, and AWWA’s Fly-In is a great opportunity to highlight our priorities with elected officials,” says Tommy Holmes, legislative director.


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