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NAWC President and CEO Comments On Consequences of Proposed Government Takeover

Posted on by NAWC Team

Below is the statement of NAWC President and CEO Robert Powelson on the proposed government takeover of Long Island’s water systems.

“A government takeover of Long Island’s private water systems would be a disaster for taxpayers. A government takeover would lead to millions of dollars in crippling debt that would have to be repaid by Long Island taxpayers. Long Islanders already pay some of the highest property taxes in the country, so why would anyone consider adding to that burden? On top of that, a government takeover would result in local governments losing the millions of dollars of tax revenue currently paid by New York American Water. It would be a losing proposition for all involved.

The hard reality is that water rates are going up across the country – about 7% a year – for both government-run and private water utilities as responsible utilities make the necessary infrastructure investments. On the flip side, municipalities that have tried to keep water rates artificially low are seeing the consequences of this decision – failing water systems without the proper rate structure to guarantee the delivery of safe and reliable drinking water. And it really does all come down to safety. Regulated water companies have a near perfect record of delivering water compliant with the Safe Drinking Water Act. This is backed up by EPA data and multiple studies, including one recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that found that privately-owned utilities have much higher compliance rates with drinking water quality standards than municipal utilities.”

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