- Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump
- Division of Local Mandates
Mike Wessler, Communications Director
Boston — Auditor Suzanne M. Bump today provided written testimony to the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, in which she expresses her qualified support for H.2777. This bill would provide the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with the responsibility for administration of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program.
In her testimony, Bump notes that taking this step will simplify the regulatory framework for cities and towns, saying, “This will allow municipal leaders to more effectively work with regulators to develop mutually agreed-upon capital plans that help get the most out of every dollar spent across all types of water infrastructure.”
However, Bump calls for two critical changes to the funding amount and mechanism in the bill. She calls for funding for the program to come from not only the general fund, but also a user fee, and a fee paid by major point industrial and commercial sources. She believes these revenue streams should be used to augment the state’s line-item contribution.
“Diversifying these funding sources will provide greater funding consistency, support long-term planning, and insulate this critical function from state budgetary challenges that may arise in the future,” she said in her testimony.
In January, Bump released a study that examined the municipal water infrastructure needs in the Commonwealth. In this study, Bump calls for the state administration of the NPDES program. Her office’s analysis also found a total municipal water infrastructure spending need in excess of $17.8 billion over the next two decades.