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.\n\nIn her testimony, Bump notes that taking this step will simplify the regulatory framework for cities and towns, saying, \u201cThis 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.\u201d\n\nHowever, 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\u2019s line-item contribution.\n\n\u201cDiversifying 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,\u201d she said in her testimony.\n\nIn 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\u2019s analysis also found a total municipal water infrastructure spending need in excess of $17.8 billion over the next two decades.\n\nBump\u2019s written testimony is available here.