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January 27, 2009 - ASCE Letter - support of amendments to HR 1 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

January 27, 2009

The Honorable Louise Slaughter                         The Honorable David Dreier
Chairwoman                                                     Ranking Member
House Rules Committee                                    House Rules Committee
Washington, D.C. 20515                                    Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Madame Chairwoman:                                Dear Representative Dreier:

On behalf of the more than 146,000 members of the American Society of Civil Engineers
(ASCE), I urge the Rules Committee to adopt a number of amendments to H.R. 1, the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, before the Committee today.

ASCE supports the following amendments:

1. # 87 by Mr. Bishop of New York

This amendment would increase the proposed appropriation for the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers from $4.5 billion to $7 billion. The Corps maintains more than 12,000 miles on the
U.S. inland waterways system. Infrastructure on the waterways is aging; many Corps-owned or
-operated locks are well past their planned design life of 50 years. Of the 257 locks still in use in
the United States, 30 were built in the 19th century; another 92 locks are more than 60 years
old. The average age of all locks in Fiscal Year 2006 was nearly 57 years. Increased funding
for repairs to these economically important waterways is long overdue.

2. #155 by Mr. Pascrell of New Jersey

The amendment would mandate that all of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)
and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) funding in the bill go toward grants,
forgiveness of principle, and negative interest loans. This amendment would ensure that the
money provided under the Act will go quickly to the projects most likely to provide the greatest
stimulus.

3. #175 by Mr. Bishop of New York and others

This amendment would increase the funding for the Clean Water Act State Revolving Loan
Fund (SRF) from $6 billion in the reported bill to $12 billion and convert the appropriation to
grants rather than loans. This increase is justified based on the physical condition of the
nation’s wastewater treatment systems. Moreover, experts in the field have identified about $20
billion in projects that are ready to put workers back on the job within the next 120 days. An
investment of $12 billion can be expected to create about 420,000 good jobs improving and
upgrading our nation’s vast system of pipes, treatment facilities, and other wastewater
infrastructure components.

4. #178 by Mr. Oberstar of Minnesota

This provision would amend the aviation, highway, rail, and transit priority consideration
and "use-it-or-lose-it" provisions to require that 50 percent of the funds be obligated
within 90 days. This amendment is critical to moving funds to those projects that are
immediately ready to begin construction and thus provide the required job and
economic stimulus needed.

Sincerely yours,

D. Wayne Klotz, P.E., D.WRE
President